Criminal Law and Procedure

Virginia B. Theisen *

Stephen R. McCullough **

 

In Murillo-Rodriguez v. Commonwealth, the Supreme Court of Virginia, in a lengthy, unanimous opinion, explicitly held that a criminal defendant in a jury trial waives his motion to strike made at the conclusion of the Commonwealth’s case when he presents evidence on his own behalf. Therefore, a defendant who presents any evidence must renew his motion to strike at the conclusion of all the evidence, or present a timely motion to set aside the verdict. If he does not do so, the appellate court will not consider his challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence.

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*Senior Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Litigation Section, Office of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia. J.D., 1984, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary; B.A, 1981, College of William & Mary.

**Senior Appellate Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia. J.D., 1997, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 1994, University of Virginia.