A Virginia judge kicked a notoriously liberal county prosecutor off a serial burglary case for allegedly “deliberately misleading the court and the public.”
Loudon County Circuit Court Judge James Plowman booted Buta Biberaj, the county prosecutor for the office of the Commonwealth’s State Attorney, from the case this week over her traditionally lenient decisions, WJLA-TV reported.
At issue is the burglary case against Kevin Enrique Valle, a local man charged with three misdemeanors and two felony burglary counts — who got a six-month plea deal from Biberaj’s office despite a lengthy criminal history.
In a May 26 ruling, Plowman said claims from prosecutors that Valle “has no prior adult convictions” nor “been convicted of a felony” was misleading.
“While technically true, this sanitizes the facts by screening the court from the knowledge that there are numerous pending adult felony matters and that the defendant pled guilty just two days prior, on Dec. 27, 2021, to three related felonies,” the judge wrote.
The judge said prosecutors in Biberaj’s office did not try the case “consistent with professional standards,” saying Valle is actually accused of “a possible 12-burglary crime spree” that covers four counties in a span of 10 days, WJLA said.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, who is now set to take over the case, called Plowman’s ruling an “unprecedented development.”
“It is clear from the order that the court has rightfully lost confidence in Ms. Biberaj, her deputies and her office’s ability and willingness to effectively seek justice in this matter,” Miyares wrote to the court on Monday.
“This is a situation of first impression for most in the legal community,” he said. “Considering this unprecedented development, I wanted to offer to the court the services of the office of the Attorney General to either prosecute these cases or assist.”
Biberaj has come under fire previously for what critics consider an overly liberal interpretation of the law, with one former staffer telling Fox she “pushes to let people out generally,” and “pushed to bond people out in domestic violence cases.”
At a press conference Monday, Biberaj fired back at Miyares.
“This is a specific message to Attorney General Jason Miyares,” she said. “‘Stay in your lane. Your lane is in Richmond. Your lane is being attorney general of Virginia.
“You are not the elected council attorney and definitely for Loudon County,” she said. “Since his election, he’s been wanting to undermine the good work that we do as progressive prosecutors.”