Loudoun County judge in Virginia removed the Commonwealth’s Attorney from a serial burglary case because it “deliberately misled the Court and the general public.” After calling the move “unprecedented”, the Republican Attorney General of Virginia is now available to take over.
Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge James Plowman stated that the Commonwealth was deliberately misleading the Court and the public in an attempt to sell the plea agreement’ for some reason that is yet to be understood. He made the order to remove the county’s Commonwealth Attorney’s office, headed By Buta Biberaj from the criminal case.
This order comes in the wake of a case involving Kevin Enrique Valle (burglary suspect), who was charged with three misdemeanors regarding the destruction of property, false identification, and two felonies related to burglary.
Plowman stated that Michele Burton, the prosecutor, offered Valle a six-month sentence. This was in return for downplaying Valle’s criminal history and not including any other burglary charges.
According to the judge, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office plea agreement stated that the crimes took place in a matter of hours last year. This is “entirely inaccurate,” as Valle is charged with “a possible 12 burglary spree that spanned four counties and lasted ten days.”
Plowman was the Loudoun commonwealth attorney prior to Biberaj’s 2019 election. She said that Burton proved she was not capable of prosecuting the case in accordance with professional standards.
The judge stated that “Biberaj, the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office are hereby removed and disqualified from further prosecution in this matter as counsel of record.”
Plowman also resigned from the case “unless both parties agree otherwise”; he ordered the Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to prosecute the case.
On Monday, Jason Miyares, the Republican Attorney General of the state, wrote a letter to Chief Judge for the 20th Judicial Circuit stating that the court had “rightfully lost confidence in Biberaj” and her office. According to Tuesday’s letter, his office is ready to help and even prosecute the case “considering this extraordinary development.”
Miyares wrote, “Please be aware that my office is at the ready to ensure the victims of these grave crimes receive justice and that the perpetrators are held accountable thereby ensuring the citizens of Virginia feel secure in their homes.”
Biberaj, who was a recipient of contributions from George Soros’s Super PAC in 2019, was previously under fire for her management style. One former prosecutor told us that employees were “pushed out to bond out people in domestic violence cases.”
The former prosecutor said that Buta “pushes to let people out generally” while speaking under anonymity.
After reporting that Biberaj’s office had hired convicted sex offenders as a paralegal, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors chair expressed outrage at Biberaj.
Biberaj’s office did not respond to our request for comment. Biberaj did however break her silence at a Tuesday press conference, where she advised the attorney general of the state to “stay in his lane” and said that her office had reduced crime in the region.
Biberaj stated Tuesday that he sent a message to Attorney General Jason Miyares. “Stay on your lane,” he said. Your lane is Richmond. Your lane is being Attorney General of Virginia. You are not an elected council attorney, and certainly not for Loudoun County. He has been trying to undermine the progress we make as progressive prosecutors since his election.”