- Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 February 2011 23:01
- Published on Tuesday, 08 February 2011 23:01
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On Jan. 25, 2011, defense attorney Frank S. Ferguson filed notice in Westmoreland Circuit Court of the appeal of the 14-month sentence Lynn C. Brownley received Jan. 3.
An appeal will be made to Virginia’s Court of Appeals “as soon as possible,” according to Ferguson. The judgment was entered in the Westmoreland County court Jan. 3 and the defense attorney has characterized the terms as overly burdensome and well above normally accepted guidelines that recommend no time in jail. The severity of the Jan. 3 sentence from Judge Taylor was not anticipated by Brownley or his attorney, Frank S. Ferguson. In addition to the 10-year incarceration with eight years and ten months suspended, Brownley was to be placed on total
supervised probation for an indefinite term and must be of good behavior for 10 years following his release.
Brownley was still being held in Northern Neck Regional Jail when he corresponded in writing with Westmoreland Circuit Court Clerk Gwynne J. Chatham. The handwritten correspondence requested copies of reports entered as part of the public record during the hearing of Jan. 3.
In the correspondence Brownley advised he had never received a copy of attachments that were made to the pretrial and sentencing report(s) or the pretrial probation report that is now part of the public record. He asked for a copy of Judge Taylor’s sentencing order and requested that the documents be mailed to him at the Northern Neck Regional Jail.
Brownley had hardly settled into Northern Neck Regional Jail when authorities entered his place of confinement, shaved his head and transported the former Westmoreland County Commonwealth’s Attorney and District 3 supervisor to a state penal facility in Powhatan, where he is now expected to serve the remainder of a 14-month sentence.
Last October Brownley pleaded guilty to illegal drug possession and on Jan. 3 he was sentenced by Judge Richard D. Taylor, Jr., to a 10-year prison term. All but 14 months of that sentence were suspended and Brownley was transported immediately to the Northern Neck Regional Jail.
In 1989 Brownley was convicted of cocaine possession. His six-month sentence was served on weekends in the Westmoreland County jail and he surrendered his law license and resigned from the elected position of Westmoreland County Commonwealth’s Attorney immediately after that 1988 arrest.
Multiple efforts to regain his license to practice law proved unsuccessful. Following a pardon from then Governor Mark Warner, Brownley made two successful runs for the District 3 seat on the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors.
When Brownley discovered approximately one year ago that his movements had been observed during an interjurisdictional sting operation in the Colonial Beach area, he wasted no time turning himself in to the local sheriff’s office authorities. Despite the sting operation’s failure to identify the substance Brownley allegedly possessed and other customary particulars, he opted to deliver a guilty pleading instead of presenting a defense at trial.
In October Brownley told reporters of his intentions to enter the guilty plea but retain his Board of Supervisors position until January, when the sentencing would occur. Soon after the plea he resigned from the elected position, advising board colleagues of his belief such action would optimally serve the county’s highest interest.
The handwritten request addressed Jan. 21 to Chatham included an odd-shaped scrap of paper upon which Brownley had inscribed the closing above his printed LCB initials, “God save the Commonwealth.”