Bullock v. Commonwealth

In Bullock v. Commonwealth, 27 Va. App. 255, 261, 498 S.E.2d 433, 436 (1998), the defendant was charged with a November 21, 1996 robbery, during which the victim was shot. A witness for the Commonwealth testified that on December 31, 1996, he committed a robbery using a sawed-off shotgun that he borrowed from the defendant. See id. at 259, 498 S.E.2d at 434-35. The witness further testified that he purchased this shotgun from the defendant on January 6, 1997. The Commonwealth presented evidence that police recovered the shotgun after it was thrown from a car occupied by the witness and the defendant. The victim testified that the shotgun looked identical to the weapon employed against him by the defendant during the November 21, 1996 robbery. See id. at 259, 498 S.E.2d at 435. The Court held that the probative value of this evidence outweighed any prejudice suffered by the defendant. See id. at 263, 498 S.E.2d at 436-37. The challenged evidence tended to prove that the defendant, who presented alibi evidence, was the perpetrator of the robbery and malicious wounding for which he was charged. See 27 Va. App. at 262-63, 498 S.E.2d at 436-37. The evidence proved that after Bullock robbed and shot the victim using a sawed-off shotgun, he sold the same shotgun to a friend who testified to that effect at Bullock's trial. See id. at 259, 498 S.E.2d at 434-35. Further, the Commonwealth proved that police recovered the same shotgun after Bullock and his friend threw it from a vehicle which they occupied. See id. at 259, 498 S.E.2d at 435.