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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dublin man sentenced to 22 years in murder case

A judge will let an appeals court decide whether being convicted of both solicitation and conspiracy constitutes double jeopardy.

| Shawna Morrison, 381-1665

PULASKI -- The double jeopardy question raised by attorneys in a Pulaski County murder solicitation case was an interesting one, a judge said Monday, but was brought up too late to be considered.
After deciding that both the solicit to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder convictions against French David "Dizzy" Kanode would stand, Circuit Court Judge Colin Gibb imposed the 22-year prison sentence that had been recommended by a jury -- 15 years for solicitation and seven for conspiracy.
Kanode, 34, of Dublin was convicted of both counts in a jury trial in December in Pulaski County Circuit Court.
Richard Mabry testified that he repeatedly stabbed Dawn Lee Meredith Wright because Kanode had told him to as part of an initiation into the Pagans motorcycle club. The body of Wright, 42, of Radford was found Jan. 23, 2008, two days after she had been killed.
Kanode, however, has never been a member of the Pagans.
Kanode has maintained his innocence and said Wright was a longtime friend.

"I didn't have nothing to do with Dawn being killed," he said from the witness stand Monday. "I swear on my life."
One of his attorneys, Jonathon Venzie, asked the judge for a lighter sentence. Sentencing guidelines for the offenses had a midpoint of only 10 years and five months.
Venzie has argued that Kanode shouldn't have been convicted of both counts because solicitation is a precursor to conspiracy. At a hearing in May, he asked Gibb to set aside one of the convictions. Attorneys have been arguing the issue in writing before discussing it at Monday's hearing.
Venzie said that since Kanode's case went to trial, the Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled that when someone is convicted of both crimes, the remedy is to vacate both the conviction and the sentence handed down for the lesser offense.

But Assistant Pulaski County Commonwealth's Attorney Jason Wolfrey argued that defense attorneys should have brought up the issue before or during the trial rather than waiting until Kanode was originally scheduled to be sentenced.
"I think it's a pretty interesting point," Gibb said Monday. "I think it was just made too late."
Kanode's attorneys, he said, "actually have an interesting point for appeal."
Kanode's wife, Cathy, was disappointed in the decision. She said she is confident her husband did not tell Mabry to kill Wright.
She and Kanode married in June at the New River Valley Regional Jail.
Mabry pleaded guilty in December 2008 to first-degree murder in Wright's death.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with an additional 20 years suspended.