There has been a backlash nationally over prosecutors who were recently elected in a push by far left groups with support from billionaire George Soros. One of those is Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj, who is now in middle of a controversy over an alleged misrepresentation of the criminal record of a felon in order to secure a lower sentence in a plea deal. Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge James Plowman removed Biberaj and her office from the case. After Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares wrote the court offering to prosecute the case, Biberaj (who described herself as a “progressive prosecutor”) lashed out at Miyares and told him to “stay in your lane.”
At issue is the plea agreement given burglary suspect Kevin Enrique Valle, who was charged with three misdemeanors for destruction of property and false identification, and two felonies for burglary. Prosecutor Michele Burton offered a six-month plea deal that Plowman said downplayed his criminal record. The judge said that he was told that the crimes occurred within a matter of hours last year. Instead, the crimes were alleged to have occurred over “a possible 12 burglary crime spree spanning four counties over 10 days.”
Valle reportedly has more than 40 cases that have been brought against him in various counties throughout Virginia. However, it was the record in Loudoun that drew the ire of the court.
Judge Plowman accused Biberaj’s office of “deliberately misleading the Court and the public.” He, therefore, ordered “Biberaj and the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is hereby REMOVED AND DISQUALIFIED from further prosecution as counsel of record in this matter.”
Biberaj held a press conference in response to the order and letter, declaring “This is a specific message to Attorney General Jason Miyares, ‘Stay in your lane’ Your lane is in Richmond. Your lane is being the attorney general of Virginia. You are not the elected council attorney and definitely nor for Loudoun County. Since his election, he’s been wanting to undermine the good work that we do as progressive prosecutors.” She further questioned Plowman’s authority to remove her office.
The court did not exactly view this as “good work.” Judge Plowman removed himself from the case.
The omission in this case is deeply disturbing. This appears a habitual offender and the specifics on this criminal record is key to any court in deciding whether to approve a plea. This was a very generous plea for someone with such a long record, particularly for someone who is only 19 years old. That does not mean that a court could not consider his age in erring on the side of leniency. However, the court must be fully and accurately informed of the defendant’s prior criminal record.
There is a recall effort targeting Biberaj.