NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The lawyer for a man serving six life terms plus 118 years for an armed robbery he committed as a teen has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe for a conditional pardon.
10 On Your Side has followed the case of Travion Blount for more than a year. Blount was 15 when he stole $60 and some marijuana at a Norfolk house party in 2006. Two other people, 18-year-olds, were also involved.
Going against his lawyer’s advice, Blount denied a plea deal and was convicted on 49 felonies. Blount’s two co-defendants pleaded guilty and received 10- and 12-year sentences.
“There is no arguing that the crime committed was trivial,” wrote John Coggeshall, Blount’s lawyer. “What is arguable is the fact that, out of three individuals who committed the crime, only one person may die in prison.”
Blount’s attorney said his client’s sentence is unconstitutional. He is also wrote that he thought the appropriate amount of time for the crime was 10 to 20 years.
According to Coggeshall, the trial court sentenced Blount prior to sentencing his co-defendants. “The trial court knew Mr. Blount would spend the rest of his life in prison, but yet it yielded to the plea agreements even though they were just as culpable—even more culpable—than Mr. Blount,” he said in the letter.
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell reduced the sentence to 40 years on his last day in office, but a federal judge voided the commutation saying McDonnell overstepped his authority.
The United States is the only country in the world that will sentence juveniles to life without parole. The Commonwealth is one of a few states that will give young offenders the ruling for crimes without murder.