Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Man accused of killing mother argues again that his constitutional violations ahead of trial

Michael Alan Webb (Courtesy VPRJ)
Michael Alan Webb (WYDaily/Courtesy VPRJ)

Just over a week ahead of Michael Webb’s scheduled trial in connection with the killing of his mother, the 35-year-old appeared in court for a lengthy motions hearing — and left with a contempt of court charge.

Webb argued for more than an hour during a hearing Wednesday in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court that his constitutional rights were being violated in the case.

Webb, of James City County, is accused of killing his 64-year-old mother, Edna Webb, at her home May 17, 2017, and is scheduled for a two-day trial beginning Aug. 16.

Webb, who is representing himself after having several defense and standby attorneys, presented several motions to Circuit Court Judge Michael McGinty, most of which alleged violations of his constitutional rights.

Among the constitutional violations Webb claimed before McGinty were the rights to a court reporter, a bond hearing, a speedy trial and evidence that may be relevant to his case. Webb also claimed that some of the alleged violations occurred while he had defense attorneys representing him.

Webb asked for the case to be dismissed based on the alleged violations.

McGinty denied each motion, saying he did not find any basis for Webb’s allegations.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Nathan Green told McGinty that he had been to the jail Tuesday to meet with Webb and give him copies of all relevant case evidence.

Discussions between Webb and McGinty escalated at times, with McGinty periodically asking Webb to “let me talk.”

At one point, McGinty found Webb in contempt of court and sentenced him to 10 days in jail after Webb raised his voice and told a bailiff to be quiet.

Several times during the hearing, McGinty warned Webb that he would be temporarily removed from the courtroom if his “disruptive” conduct continued.

During a March 5 hearing, Webb also argued similar constitutional violations, including suggesting that police officers had committed perjury. He also argued that no witnesses had been able to place him at the scene of Edna Webb’s murder, and that he was “an innocent man.”

On Wednesday, defense attorney Brandon Waltrip sat on a bench in the courtroom behind Webb taking notes. Waltrip was recently appointed at Webb’s standby counsel after Webb’s former attorney, George Brooks, withdrew.

In court, Webb said all of his attorneys — which number at least four, including Waltrip — were “inadequate.”

“I’m not receiving adequate representation, so I thought it was best for me to represent myself,” Webb said Wednesday.

Green, the commonwealth’s attorney, said Webb appears to be “vacillating between wanting to have an attorney and wanting to represent himself.”

Trespassing on his mother’s property

On Tuesday, Green submitted a motion asking a judge to rule to allow him to use as evidence at trial a case between Webb and his mother at the time of her death.

Webb objected to the use of information from that case, but McGinty approved Green’s motion.

According to the motion, Webb’s mother filed a criminal complaint on April 2, 2017, saying Webb and his girlfriend had trespassed the day before on her property at 1877 Ferrell Drive in the Grove area of James City County.

On April 19, Webb was served with the trespassing summons, and his trial was set for May 19, 2017. On April 26, he was served with an unlawful detainer to remove him from the property on Ferrell Drive.

On May 15, Webb was directed to leave his mother’s property within 30 days.

On May 17, police arrived to find Edna Webb dead from apparent blunt force trauma in the kitchen area of the home she had shared with her son, police said. Webb was arrested and charged with second-degree murder that evening.

Lab results

Since his last hearing, various forensic lab reports have been added to Webb’s case file.

One report dated April 13 details an analysis of a pair of men’s Nike shoes with red stains, a pair of khaki pants with a brown belt and red stains, as well as a DNA swab from Webb.

The report used DNA results to see if the DNA on the clothing could be matched to Webb. A match between Webb and the Nike shoes is “4.3 quintillion times more probable” than a coincidental match to an unrelated African American person, the report says.

A match between the khaki pants and Webb is “62 quadrillion times more probable” than a coincidental match to an unrelated African American person.

A lab test dated April 18 also analyzed Webb’s DNA and compared it to DNA extracted from tape around Edna Webb’s ankles, a plastic bag, electrical cable and string ligatures.

Some DNA profiles from the items “cannot be eliminated” as belonging to Webb or any of his patrilineally-related relatives.

Other DNA samples from the items were not suitable for comparison, the report says.

Sarah Fearing can be reached at sarah.f@localvoicedmedia.com.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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