Attempted carjacking charges dismissed

A Louisa judge dismissed charges of attempted carjacking and robbery against two Georgia women, saying the charges didn’t fit the crime and the alleged victim was not credible.

Judge Claiborne Stokes’ ruling followed an Oct. 10 hearing in Louisa County General District Court for Casandra Champion, 35 and Melinda McDaniel, 31. They were accused of attempting to steal a 2001 Chevy pickup, along with a television and a laptop, from a 64-year-old Bumpass man with whom they had been staying.

Alex Goodman, assistant commonwealth’s attorney, said the women stayed at the victim’s West Chapel Drive home for three days prior to the Aug. 18 incident. The victim testified that he woke up in the middle of the night to find the suspects loading their belongings into his truck.

“I noticed at this time that my keys were gone out of my pockets, and so was my wallet,” he said.

He said he ran outside to confront the women, who fled into the woods, then attempted to make a run for the truck. 

“I told them that if they didn’t give me the keys, that I was going to call the police,” he said. “That was when [McDaniel] tried to take the phone out [of] my hands, and began hitting me in the head.”

Adam Rhea, McDaniel’s attorney, asked the victim if he had been sleeping with either of the women, which he admitted to. 

Ryan Rakness, Champion’s lawyer, asked the victim if he’d replaced his driver’s license after his wallet was taken. When the victim said yes and presented his license, Rakness pointed out that the license had been issued several years prior. The victim admitted that it was, in fact, an old license and he had not gotten a new one.

Goodman dropped charges of petty larceny against the women and charges of assault and interfering with a phone line against McDaniel.

The Louisa County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has the option of seeking an indictment from a grand jury against the two women. Prosecutors could not be reached for comment about their plans.