On Monday, a Buchanan County jury began what turned into the 3 day trial of Bobby Joe Proffitt, 40, of Cedar Bluff Virginia. Proffitt was charged with Burglary of the home of Mark Taylor, Burglary of a detached garage, and Grand Larceny.
At trial, Mark Taylor testified that upon return to his home after being away for several days, he discovered that it had been broken into with numerous items missing. Upon further investigation, he realized his detached garage had also been broken into with additional items missing. Taylor reported the crimes to local authorities.
Investigator Mark Lowe testified that during the Sheriff’s Office’s investigation, a beer bottle was recovered in the kitchen which matched the brand of beer in Taylor’s refrigerator. Officers collected the beer can, along with an empty energy drink can found in the floor. Lowe sent those items to the Department of Forensic Science along with a DNA sample taken from Proffitt for comparison. According to Certificates of Analysis filed from the lab, the statistical odds were greater than 1 in 7.2 billion (approximately the world’s population) that it was anyone other than Proffitt’s DNA contained in those items.
After two days of testimony and evidence, the jury found Proffitt guilty of Burglary of Taylor’s home and not guilty of the Burglary of the garage and Larceny.
Wednesday, the jury returned to deliberate and recommend a sentence to the Court. The Commonwealth argued that Proffitt had a “20 year long criminal history” and introduced his multiple prior convictions for Larceny, Burglary, and numerous other crimes into evidence.
After considering all of the evidence and Proffitt’s lengthy criminal history, the jury quickly returned with a recommended sentence of 20 years in a Virginia Penitentiary, which was the maximum penalty.
When asked for comment, Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington stated, “We were very pleased with the jury’s decisions and their recommended sentence. My Office will ask the Court to follow the jury’s recommendation when Proffitt appears back before the Court for his sentencing hearing. Mr. Proffitt is a career criminal who continued to invade the privacy of people’s homes and steal things that did not belong to him despite multiple convictions and previous jail sentences. I believe repeat offenders deserve significant punishments when they continue their same criminal wrongdoings. A jury is the conscious of the community, and they sent a clear message of agreement when they recommended the lengthiest sentence allowable by law.”
Arrington went on to thank the jury for their service and commended the officer’s from the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office for their work in this case.