(JustPatriots.com)- In an unprecedented move, a Virginia judge removed the Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office from a criminal case, citing the office’s inability to prosecute the case in accordance with professional standards and saying it deliberately misled the court and the public to “sell” a plea agreement.
Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge James Plowman, the county’s former Commonwealth Attorney before the election of progressive Buta Biberaj in 2020, said Biberaj’s office sought a plea for a serial burglary suspect while downplaying and even omitting his prior criminal record and current charges from other jurisdictions.
The suspect, Kevin Enrique Valle, was charged with three misdemeanors for destruction of property and false identification, and two felonies for burglary.
Plowman said the plea agreement from Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Michele Burton stated that Valle’s crimes happened within hours instead of over the course of days or weeks. The judge said the assessment was “entirely inaccurate” since the defendant has been accused of “a possible 12 burglary crime spree spanning four counties over ten days.”
The judge criticized the prosecutor’s assessment that Valle lacked prior felony convictions as an adult, noting that the defendant had just pleaded guilty to three felonies, had other felony charges pending, and was convicted of charges that would have been felonies if he had been an adult at the time.
Judge Plowman described these as “an overt misrepresentation by omission” on the part of the Commonwealth Attorney’s office. He wrote that either the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office lacked the knowledge of the facts in the case or it lacked “the ability to apply basic legal principles.”
The judge ordered the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in Fauquier County to prosecute the Valle case instead, adding that Buta Biberaj and her office are “REMOVED AND DISQUALIFIED” from serving as the prosecuting counsel in the case.
Plowman concluded that the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office deliberately misled the Court and the public when it sought to “sell” the plea agreement.
The judge also offered to recuse himself from the case “unless the parties agree otherwise.”