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COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
Present: Chief Judge Fitzpatrick, Judges Frank and Clements
Argued at Richmond, Virginia
TIFFANY SHAKEYA POLLARD
v. Record No. 1424-01-2 PER CURIAM
APRIL 2, 2002
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND
Learned D. Barry, Judge
(Ali J. Amirshahi, on brief), for appellant.
Appellant submitting on brief.
(Jerry W. Kilgore, Attorney General;
Richard B. Smith, Senior Assistant Attorney
General, on brief), for appellee. Appellee
submitting on brief.
Tiffany Shakeya Pollard, appellant, appeals her robbery
conviction. Appellant contends the evidence was not sufficient to
show she intended to permanently deprive another of property.
Finding no error, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
"On appeal, 'we review the evidence in the light most
favorable to the Commonwealth, granting to it all reasonable
inferences fairly deducible therefrom.'" Archer v.
Commonwealth, 26 Va. App. 1, 11, 492 S.E.2d 826, 831 (1997)
(citation omitted). "The credibility of the witnesses and the
weight accorded the evidence are matters solely for the fact
finder who has the opportunity to see and hear that evidence as
it is presented." Sandoval v. Commonwealth, 20 Va. App. 133,
138, 455 S.E.2d 730, 732 (1995). "In its role of judging
witness credibility, the fact finder is entitled to disbelieve
the self-serving testimony of the accused and to conclude that
the accused is lying to conceal his guilt." Marable v.
Commonwealth, 27 Va. App. 505, 509-10, 500 S.E.2d 233, 235
(1998). The trier of fact is not required to accept a party's
evidence in its entirety, Barrett v. Commonwealth, 231 Va. 102,
107, 341 S.E.2d 190, 193 (1986), but is free to believe and
disbelieve in part or in whole the testimony of any witness.
Rollston v. Commonwealth, 11 Va. App. 535, 547, 399 S.E.2d 823,
In this light, the evidence showed that Sylvia Wimbush was in
her home on November 28, 2000, at 1:20 a.m., when appellant,
accompanied by three other people, knocked at Wimbush's door.
Wimbush allowed the four people to enter her home. Wimbush
admitted owing appellant and one other confederate money for
drugs. Not having the money to pay her debt, appellant and the
others stated they were going to take some of her property for
"collateral." James Brown was staying at the home and offered to
pay the debt at a later time. One of the codefendants left and
returned with a firearm. Appellant acquired the gun, pointed it
toward Wimbush, her daughter, and Brown. Appellant directed her
confederates to take the property. The group took a television,
stereo, and compact disc player. Appellant returned the property
to Wimbush after she learned of the robbery warrant against her
for this taking.
"Robbery is defined at common law as '"the taking, with the
intent to steal, of the personal property of another, from his
person or in his presence, against his will by violence or
intimidation."' . . . The intent to steal means the intent to
deprive the owner permanently of his property." Brown v.
Commonwealth, 24 Va. App. 292, 295, 482 S.E.2d 75, 77 (1997) (en
banc) (citations omitted). "To take property under a bona fide
claim of right, as under . . . a bona fide attempt to enforce
payment of a debt, is not robbery though the taking be accompanied
by violence or putting in fear." Pierce v. Commonwealth, 205 Va.
528, 533, 138 S.E.2d 28, 31 (1964) (citation omitted). "But if
the claim of right is a mere pretext covering the intent to steal,
the taking by violence is robbery." Id. at 533, 138 S.E.2d at 32
Although Wimbush admitted owing appellant $30, and one
other codefendant $110, there was a discrepancy in the evidence
as to how much money Wimbush owed. Nevertheless, appellant took
possession of the gun and pointed it at Wimbush, her daughter,
and Brown, placing them in fear of bodily harm. Wimbush did not
want appellant or the others to take the property as collateral
or otherwise. Appellant refused to accept Brown's offer to pay
the debt later and took the property against Wimbush's will
under the pretext of satisfying the debt. Further, the trial
court was entitled to disbelieve appellant's statements and
testimony that she took the property solely for collateral and
would have returned it upon payment of the debt. Therefore, the
evidence was sufficient to prove appellant had the requisite
intent to permanently deprive Wimbush of the property.
Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
* Pursuant to Code 17.1-413, this opinion is not
designated for publication.
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