Commonwealth v. Smith

In Commonwealth v. Smith, 259 Va. 780, 529 S.E.2d 78 (2000), the victim had been drinking heavily when Smith approached him and spoke a few instigating words regarding Smith's relationship with the victim's spouse. Smith then punched the victim as he began to walk away. The victim kept walking away, but then fell unconscious on a public street. When the victim awoke, hours later in a hospital, he was being treated for knife wounds. No evidence was produced relating to what happened in the interval time between the victim falling unconscious and then awaking in the hospital to find that he had been stabbed. The only evidence that Smith had committed the crime, on a public street, was that some of the knife wounds were in the same place Smith had punched the victim. The victim testified he did not see Smith with any weapon nor did he see blood when Smith punched him. Smith's conviction was overturned on appeal based on the holding that the evidence raised no more than a suspicion of guilt.