Hi Family and friends.
I know that many of you are wondering what is going on based on certain Facebook posts you’ve seen. Here’s what I can tell you because we really need your help!!! My brother, known to all of us as LB, has been wrongfully charged and convicted of a crime he did not commit. These are very serious charges and they are absolutely false! LB has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. We sat through his trial for an entire week and because of the lies and inconsistences of the state’s witnesses, exposed by LBs lawyer, we were confident he would be exonerated. As you can imagine, we were beyond devastated at the outcome. LB does not belong in prison! This is a travesty of justice and there is more than sufficient cause to request a new trial or at the very least to request an appeal; #1. LB had inadequate assistance of counsel. The lawyer withheld crucial evidence (photos) LB provided to him; nor would he call any witnesses who were waiting to be called for the defense. The lawyer said LB didn’t have to put on any kind of defense because the burden of proof was on the state and he felt they had not proven its case. #2. The judge did not properly instruct the jury. The jury came back at the end of day #1 stating they were hopelessly deadlocked (6 to 6). The judge told the jury they must return next day to deliberate some more to try to break the deadlock and he would let them go after lunch. Next day, the jury sent a note to the judge they could not reach a unanimous vote. Again, he sent them back in to try to get a unanimous vote. Now it was evening again, so the judge decided to read the Allen Charge which is a jury instruction applicable by law; but, highly controversial. It is known as the Dynamite Charge meant to break a deadlocked jury & persuade them to continue deliberating until a  unanimous vote is reached but should not be coersive in nature. There were many problems with this trial, the charges and the sentencing The Appellate lawyer will go over the trial transcript to find any other trial errors as there were numerous objections made during the trial. This case has been very costly but we did what we had to do to get him out of jail and pay for the lawyer. Between our families, we raised $60,000 for a lawyer and bail. All of that was exhausted for the first trial. We have been tapped dry, but we are not giving up on our brother,LB! Now, we have to start over to raise enough money ($30,000) for a good appellate lawyer, a transcript of the trial, and whatever is needed to get justice. A motion to appeal must be filed within 30 days from December 1, 2017. Deadline to file  the appeal is December 30, 2017.  If family won’t help family, where else can we turn? We’re praying that God will put it on your heart, a desire to help LB. We’re, also, praying that God will protect him as he awaits vindication. This is an absolute nightmare; an uphill battle! If you think it can’t happen to you; better think again. Of the four of us, LB is the last one you would think would be in this predicament. I implore you to please give as much as you can possibly afford! After all, this is the season of giving! We love our brother, father, grandfather, great grandfather, cousin, nephew etc.!!! Thank you in advance for demonstrating your love for him, as well! Our goal is to raise $30,000 using this Go-Fund-Me Account. Other options are acceptable as well such as check, money orders etc. I have provided all of this information so you can determine what, if any, help you might provide. We are family and we wish each and every one of you a merry Christmas.
With Love,
Peggy, Gail and Oliver
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Peggy Stevens 
Suffolk, VA
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