NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Vanishment is the act of suddenly disappearing, and that’s exactly what 29-year-old Rashad Dooley seems to have done after a jury was to come back with a verdict in the Christopher Cummings murder case.
Dooley was convicted on a number of charges in connection with the case, but right before the verdict was read, Dooley sent a text to his attorney that he had left the courthouse, which is in violation of the judge’s order not to leave the courthouse.
That was September 14, and Dooley hasn’t been seen since.
Dooley was in court that day, wearing a black-and-white checkered shirt, but at some point he fled, before the verdict was read.
10 On Your Side asked Dooley’s attorney, Eric Korslund, whether Dooley thought he was going to be found guilty and took off because of that. “No; I can’t say that. I really can’t. I can see why some people might speculate that and they may think that, but I can say he did not communicate that to me. He didn’t say that to me, ‘I’m out here. I am on the run.’ “
More importantly, Korslund says his client raised no red flags.
“He didn’t ask me any questions to make me think that he would go on the run. That would be a red flag to me with questions of that nature.”
10 On Your Side asked if there was a feeling that he would win?
“Yes. I think the trial went very well,” Korslund said. “Just the fact the jury was out for two days, we felt the jury would come back with an acquittal.”
10 On Your Side also asked Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi why he agreed to give Dooley a personal recognizance bond for first degree murder and conspiracy to commit it.
“I didn’t think it was appropriate if I were reviewing whether the case could go forward that Mr. Dooley sits in jail without bail while I was making that determination,” Fatehi told WAVY News.
Fatehi acknowledges the Christopher Cummings case had two defendants with cases dismissed, another had a hung jury.
“As a prosecutor, ethically, I didn’t feel I had a leg to stand on for them to be held at that point. I didn’t like bonding them. I didn’t want to do it, but it was the right thing to do, and I knew there would be questions about it, but I did it because it was the right thing to do.”
As for Dooley, his lawyer wants him to know this,
“I think it would be in his best interest if he were here and he did turn himself in. He still needs to be sentenced and it is inevitable he will get some time.”