Henrico County VA

‘Castle Doctrine’ is closer to becoming law

Citizens looking for more personal protection can rest easy after two bills that would allow the use of deadly force in one’s home moved forward this week in the General Assembly.

Staunton Delegate Robert “Dickie” Bell’s House Bill 48, better known as the “Castle Doctrine,” won an endorsement Friday from the House Courts of Justice Committee. The vote was 12-6. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

The Castle Doctrine, which is law in 31 states, states that people can use physical or deadly force against intruders in their home if they believe the intruder could hurt them or if an intruder commits an overt act against them.

Bell, a Republican, said the original draft of HB 48 was identical to Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Montross. The Senate passed Stuart’s bill, 23-17, on Thursday.

The House bill was amended in subcommittee last week to add the word “serious” to the threat of bodily injury that people must believe they face before deadly force is justified.

With the amendments, the chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee, Delegate Dave Albo, R-Springfield, was still hesitant to move forward with the bill.

Bell introduced the bill as a codification of what is already common law in Virginia. But Albo said that without the word “reasonable,” it is not an accurate representation of common law.

“Common law says the response has to be proportional,” Albo said at the committee meeting. Adoption of HB 48 would be “taking ‘reasonable response’ out of the law.”

No citizens or groups came to speak in favor of or in opposition to the bill. But Delegate Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville, a member of the committee, voiced support for HB 48.

“Common law doesn’t provide enough protection in their own home,” he said. “The goal of this bill is to say there are certain things to do within your home to protect yourself.”

How They Voted
Here is how the Senate voted on Thursday on “SB 4 Castle doctrine; self-defense and defense of others.”
Floor: 02/02/12 Senate: Read third time and passed Senate (23-Y 17-N)

YEAS – Black, Blevins, Carrico, Garrett, Hanger, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Norment, Northam, Obenshain, Petersen, Puckett, Reeves, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stosch, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner, Watkins – 23.

NAYS – Barker, Colgan, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Herring, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, J.C., Miller, Y.B., Puller, Saslaw – 17.

Here is how the House Courts of Justice Committee voted on Friday on “HB 48 Castle doctrine; self-defense and defense of others.”

02/03/12 House: Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (12-Y 6-N)

YEAS – Kilgore, Bell, Robert B., Cline, Iaquinto, Gilbert, Miller, Loupassi, Villanueva, Farrell, Minchew, Morris, Johnson – 12.

NAYS – Albo, Habeeb, Watts, Toscano, Herring, McClellan – 6.

More cyclists on the way

Riders to pass through county on East Coast Greenway tour
From October 4-9, 35 cyclists will be riding through Henrico County as part of a 325-mile tour of the East Coast Greenway (ECG) route from Fredericksburg, Virginia, to Raleigh, NC.

A 2,900-mile trail route that extends from the Canadian border at Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida, The East Coast Greenway is heading into its 25th year. The Week A Year (WAY) Tour is an annual ride and fundraiser that has been working its way south since the first WAY Tour launched from Calais, Maine in 2011. Riders cover a different section of the Greenway each year and are on target to complete the route in Key West in 2019. > Read more.

Henrico woman wins $1M in Va. Lottery game

When Amanda Spiller of Henrico saw that she’d won the $1 million prize in the Virginia Lottery’s $100 Million Cash Extravaganza game, it didn’t immediately sink in.

“I was in shock. . . complete shock,” she said. “I had to double and triple check.”

She bought the winning ticket at the 7-Eleven at 2750 Hungary Spring Road in Henrico. She had the choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $681,000 before taxes. She chose the cash option. The store received a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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