Cameron v. Commonwealth

In Cameron v. Commonwealth, 211 Va. 108, 175 S.E.2d 275 (1970), an eyewitness observed only the clothing and the "backs" of two individuals running from a robbery scene. He recalled to police the relative height, race and clothing of each suspect. Cameron and his companion were apprehended 35 minutes after the crime, eight blocks from the scene, and taken into custody. Later, at police headquarters, the witness "identified the [two] by their clothing," although "he couldn't be positive." In reversing the conviction, the Court noted: "There was no witness who could identify the defendant by his facial features as one . . . who committed the crime. Neither the victim nor [the eyewitness] saw the faces of the boys who committed the crime. The strongest evidence against the defendant was the testimony of [the eyewitness] who could only say that defendant and his companion were "wearing the same type of clothes" as the two boys who ran . . . and that one . . . was short and one was tall, as were the defendant and his companion." (Id. at 111, 175 S.E.2d at 277.)