Nixon appeal request denied

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — After Virginia's Supreme Court denied a request to hear an appeal in Elva Rosemary Nixon's January 2006 convictions of second-degree murder, robbery and use of a firearm, she appears to have exhausted all opportunities in state courts to get the case overturned.

In a week-long jury trial, Nixon was convicted in the ambush of Donald Brady, 75, on his farm in the Keno section of Carroll County.

Brady died while he was being treated for gunshot wounds that he suffered during the attack.

This was the third request by Nixon and her attorneys to appeal the case.

Defense attorneys have consistently argued against the use of Nixon's statements while Carroll authorities were investigating two shootings that occurred on the same night — one that left her with a wound to the face, and another in which Brady was the victim.

The defense argued that the trial judge in Carroll County Circuit Court made errors in failing to suppress statements made by Nixon to investigators and failing to strike a juror. The defense also said another juror used a cell phone after deliberations had begun.

The appellate judges had granted a hearing on the basis of these three questions and denied others, but ultimately rejected the arguments.

And the Virginia Supreme Court on Sept. 24 ruled that it would not grant Nixon's petition for appeal before the state's highest court.

It's possible that Nixon could request a rehearing from the state supreme court, but it's unlikely it would be granted, said Greg Goad, the Carroll County commonwealth's attorney who prosecuted Nixon at trial.

The last remaining avenue would be appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I'm pleased the court denied the petition for appeal," Goad said. "She received a fair trial and was convicted by a jury of her peers."