Flanders v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals upholding Appellant's conviction, holding that the evidence was sufficient to sustain Appellant's conviction for felony homicide because felony hit and run may serve as a predicate offense for a felony homicide conviction.
Appellant was charged with felony hit and run and felony homicide for a single incident. Counsel for Appellant moved to strike the felony homicide charge at the close of the Commonwealth's evidence, arguing that a hit and run in violation of Va. Code 46.2-894 was insufficient as a matter of law to support a conviction of felony homicide. In response, the Commonwealth argued that a felony homicide was proper because the homicide was within the res gestae of the predicate hit and run. The trial court denied the motion to strike and found Appellant guilty of both charges. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the evidence was sufficient to establish that Appellant committed the hit and run with malice sufficient to elevate the killing to second-degree murder and that the victim's death occurred within the res gestae of the underlying hit and run.