FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:October 22, 2013
Contact: Heather F. WilliamsonCommonwealth’s Attorney’s Office20 East Market StreetLeesburg, VA 20176-2809(703) 777-0242
VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT REFUSES PETITION FOR APPEAL IN MURDER CONVICTION
The Virginia Supreme Court refused a Petition for Appeal submitted on behalf of Steven Henri Combs-LaFleur, a Leesburg man convicted for the murder of his wife, Catharine “Casey” Combs-LaFleur.
On September 18, 2010, The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Rescue personnel were called to the couple’s home where they found Casey deceased with significant injuries to her head. Evidence presented at trial resulted in a jury determining that Combs-LaFleur killed his wife by striking her multiple times with a hand-held sledgehammer. The jury rejected defense arguments that the act was a “mercy killing” done in a heat of passion and out of love. The jury found Combs-LaFleur guilty of first degree murder and fixed a life sentence. Judge Burke F. McCahill imposed the jury sentence at the final hearing in April 2012.
“Appeals such as this are common in cases of this magnitude,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman. “I am very pleased the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled in our favor, and while there may be future attempts at appellate relief, I’m confident that our trial presentation was extremely thorough and will withstand any legal challenges,” continued Plowman.