Tuesday, May 16, 2017


In the Analysis section of her decision, Justice Powell lays out the Commonwealth’s argument for dismissing the jury verdict of the Pryde and Peterson lawsuit. She writes on page eleven: “… we have imposed a duty to warn of a third party criminal acts [sic] only where there was ‘an imminent probability of injury’ from a third party act.”  What greater indication of imminent violence does the Virginia Supreme Court need than Ralph Byers words at 8:45 a.m. that there was a killer on the loose?

On page 15, the final page of the decision, Judge Powell writes “Most importantly based on information available at that time, the defendants believed that the shooter had fled the area and posed no danger to others.” This sentence is one of the most disturbing and bogus in the report.

1.    There was absolutely no evidence that the killer had left the campus.
2.    There was absolutely no evidence the double homicide was the result of a lovers’ triangle.
3.    There was absolutely no evidence the killer was not a threat to others on the Virginia Tech campus.

Justice Powell also writes, “Based on the limited information available to the Commonwealth prior to the shootings in Norris Hall, it cannot be said that it was or reasonably foreseeable that students in Norris Hall would fall victim to criminal harm. Thus, as a matter of law, the Commonwealth did not have a duty to protect students against third party criminal acts.”

If you buy the incorrect definition of words, concepts and facts that Justice Powell lays out, then the above is correct. But, unfortunately her words run counter to facts, evidence, and the truth (I have detailed all of those points in previous postings).

The conclusion of the decision reads: “Assuming without deciding that a special relationship existed between the Commonwealth and Virginia Tech students, based on the specific facts of this case, as a matter of law, no duty to warn students of harm by a third party criminal arose. Thus, we will reverse the trial court’s judgment holding that a duty arose and enter final judgment in favor of the Commonwealth.

I have been involved in Intelligence and Crime analysis at the CIA and FBI for over 50 years, and currently teach it in the U.S. Intelligence Community, in Canada, and in Singapore. I have also taught Intelligence and Crime Analysis at a major Virginia University. If one of my students engaged in the distortions and untruths contained in Justice Powell’s decision, I would flunk him or her.  This decision is unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable. (To be continued)

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