Commonwealth v. George Marvin Viers, Jr.
Pulaski County Circuit Court
Case Nos. 12.598, 12.99 and 12.600
Case presented by K. Mike Fleenor, Jr.
Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Burglary, Violation of a Protective Order; Serving 27 Years
George Marvin Viers, Jr. and his girlfriend had separated and their young daughter lived with her mother. They both lived in a house in South Pulaski. Viers resented not having custody of his daughter and that he had been ordered by the court to have no contact with his ex-girlfriend. Over time he became more upset and eventually decided to kill her. In January, 2012, Viers drove to the Maple Shade Plaza, parked his car and removed a 5 pound hand-held sledgehammer from his vehicle. He took black electrical tape and affixed pipe insulation to the hammer. When asked later by a detective with the Pulaski Police Department why he did that his response was “to keep down the blood.” Viers then walked approximately 6 blocks to his ex-girlfriend’s residence. At the time, she was at the bus stop waiting on the school bus with her daughter. Once her daughter was on the bus, she went back to her home.
She entered the home and as she walked down the hallway, Viers jumped out of a side room and began striking her violently in the head with the sledgehammer. Although she did her best to avoid being struck, it is estimated that Viers successfully struck her at least 5 times in the head and upper body. Although seriously hurt and bleeding profusely, she was able to escape out the back door and to a neighbor’s yard who called the police. When authorities arrived, she was immediately taken to the ER and treated for multiple skull fractures, contusions to her neck and shoulder, and serious lacerations to her scalp. Several dozen metal staples were required to re-attach her scalp. Over the next several months, the victim was diagnosed to suffer from memory loss, an inability to concentrate, aphasia, loss of balance and an almost constant headache. Because of the nature of these serious injuries, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor presented an indictment for Aggravated Malicious wounding. This crime requires that the injury sustained result in a “permanent and significant physical impairment.”
Fleenor also presented indictments for Burglary with the intent to commit Murder and Felony Violation of a Protective Order. Viers was found guilty of all three charges. At a sentencing hearing, Fleenor introduced victim impact evidence of all the serious effects of the attack. He also introduced evidence from the victim’s neurologist about the permanent physical impairment. The Virginia sentencing guidelines called for Viers to serve 12 years. Arguing that the sentencing guidelines were wholly inadequate, Fleenor argued that Viers should be sentenced to an amount much higher than 12 years. He referenced the injuries, the fact that the attack happened in her own home, that there was a protective order against Viers ordering him to have no contact with her, and finally that he intended to kill her as justification for a high sentence. Ultimately the Judge agreed and sentenced Viers to serve 27 years in prison, more than double the sentencing guidelines.