Commonwealth v. BassAnnotate this Case
Richmond police obtained warrants charging Bass with two robberies and an attempted robbery, arising out of a 2013 home invasion. A grand jury returned indictments charging Bass with the robberies of Irving Smith and Brown, and the attempted robbery of Videll Smith, transposing the first names of the victims from the warrants. The grand jury also returned indictments charging Bass with using a firearm in the commission of these felonies. During the arraignment, the court informed Bass that he was charged with the robberies of Irving Smith and Brown, and the attempted robbery of Videll Smith, as well as with three counts of using a firearm in the commission of these felonies. Bass was tried for these offenses by a jury. The Court of Appeals, applying the ends-of-justice exception to Rule 5A:18, reversed his conviction due to a variance between the indictments and the evidence presented at trial. The Supreme Court of Virginia reversed. Nothing in the record demonstrated that Bass could not properly be convicted for robbery based on the evidence adduced at trial, and his situation is not analogous to any of the “very limited circumstances” under which the ends of justice exception is properly invoked.