Judge rules Kavanagh attorney cannot be lead counsel
Two area women pleaded guilty to drug charges in Rappahannock County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Pamela Naomi Rose Morris was previously indicted on two felony counts of possession of Schedule I or II drugs. In a plea agreement with Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff, one of the charges was dropped.
According to the criminal complaint, on July 30, 2017, RCSO Deputy C. M. Garcia arrested the 49-year-old Boston resident after a traffic stop on Route 211.
Garcia observed Morris’ “vehicle swerve and not be able to maintain its lane. The vehicle at one point was traveling down the center of the two westbound lanes.”
After the stop, wrote Garcia, “I observed the driver [had] bloodshot and glassy eyes and was unsteady on her feet.” Garcia administered a series of routine field sobriety tests, but Morris was unable to complete them. “Multiple tests had to be stopped for the safety of the individual because of her unsteadiness on her feet.”
Upon searching Morris’ vehicle, the deputy detected the odor of PCP and discovered “a large amount of suspected PCP and crack cocaine,” according to the complaint. Analysis of the substances by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science came back positive for PCP and cocaine.
Morris was released on secured bond and is due to be sentenced on July 25 after the court receives and reviews an abbreviated pre-sentence report.
Christine Nichol Robinson, 37, of Castleton also pleaded guilty to possessing a Schedule I or II drug.
On July 24, 2017, Garcia received a call for an overdose. Upon arriving at the scene, he found Robinson “displaying signs of an overdose,” according to his written complaint. Garcia administered Narcan twice, which revived her. He then sent samples of Morris’s blood to a lab for analysis.
“The blood results came back with multiple different substances found, one of which was Fentanyl,” he wrote.
Circuit Court Judge Herman A, Whisenant, Jr. sentenced Robinson to two years in the penitentiary, but suspended all two years. Whisenant ordered supervised probation for two years and required Robinson to undergo mental health and other counseling recommended by her probation officer.
Kavanagh attorney removed as lead counsel
In a defamation suit and assault countersuit between area realtor Heidi Lesinski and her neighbor, retired jeweler Edmund Kavanagh, Whisenant ruled that Kavanagh’s attorney Nikki Marshall could not represent him as lead counsel in the civil proceeding.
The matter arises from a bench trial in Rappahannock County District Court in May 2017, in which Marshall testified as a witness for Kavanagh. Earlier that year, Kavanagh charged Lesinski with assault, alleging that she had attacked him at her home while they were reviewing his finances.
Judge J. Gregory Ashwell ruled after the bench trial that inconsistencies in witness testimony created enough reasonable doubt as to the actual circumstances surrounding the charge, and he found Lesinski not guilty.
On Oct. 2, 2017, Lesinski, the wife of Hampton district Supervisor John Lesinski, sued Kavanagh, claiming malicious prosecution and defamation. She asked for $200,000 in legal expenses and punitive damages. Kavanagh, in his countersuit filed Oct. 25, charged assault and asked for the identical amount.
Lesinski’s attorney Chris Whelan filed a motion on March 29 of this year “to disqualify counsel,” claiming that by testifying at the earlier trial, Marshall waived the attorney-client privilege. Whisenant granted the motion.
Robin Gulick, an attorney in Marshall’s firm, will take over as Kavanagh’s lead counsel. A jury trial is set for Sept. 20 and 21.