This afternoon in Appomattox County Circuit Court, an emotional two-day trial concluded with a 12-member jury unanimously finding a Concord man guilty on six counts of sexual crimes against a child and later recommending a 41-year prison sentence.
Christopher Dustin Mayberry, 34, was convicted of felony aggravated sexual battery of a child under age 13, four felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child under age 15, and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The incident occurred March 27, 2019. Mayberry was arrested three days later on March 30, 2019.
The jury took approximately 15 minutes to reach its verdict in the case and around the same amount of time to decide on a sentencing recommendation.
The jury chose the maximum 20-year sentence for aggravated sexual battery, five years for each of the four indecent liberties charges (maximum is 10 years each), and the maximum 12-month sentence for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Circuit Court Judge Andy Nelson ordered a pre-sentence report and settled with the attorneys on a July 1 date for final sentencing.
Appomattox County Commonwealth's Attorney Les Fleet asked the jury to consider a maximum sentence recommendation on all charges, which would have been a total of 61 years.
Mayberry's defense attorney, Jordan Davies, requested a sentence of 7 to 10 years, stating that 61 years would be too harsh for the nature of the crime and adding that Mayberry has no prior criminal record.
A seventh charge, felony object sexual penetration, was stricken upon a review by Nelson after Davies requested a motion to strike yesterday. Davies cited that there was no evidence to support the charge.
Throughout the trial, Davies agreed that Mayberry was guilty of some of the charges and actions for which he was accused but said that he was not guilty of the most severe charges, as Mayberry had stated during the investigation.
Davies contended that the prosecution did not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt because some of the testimony and evidence presented by the prosecution was primarily based on verbal testimony without the support of scientific evidence.
The prosecution, which included Fleet and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dana Smith, argued that their case was proven on all counts and that while Mayberry confessed to some involvement, he also acted in a manner for which to cover up the rest of his crimes.
A major point presented by the prosecution was the 25-minute time period that Mayberry sat in a vehicle on the property where he lived with the victim, who was 7 years old at the time. Fleet stated that photographs from a camera on the property showed enough evidence to collaborate parts of the victim's testimony, and asked why else Mayberry would be in the vehicle with the victim for that length of time.
Mayberry was accused of showing cell phone pornography videos to, and having inappropriate contact with, the victim while in the vehicle.
Mayberry resided with the victim and the victim's mother when the incident occurred. The mother was unaware of the incident because she was inside the home sleeping due to illness.
According to testimony yesterday by a now former Appomattox County Sheriff's Office investigator who was assigned to the case at the time, Mayberry initially denied any of the allegations but admitted to some guilt in his third interview with law enforcement on he day he was questioned and before he was taken into custody.
Davies also argued that there was no DNA present in lab testing results. But Fleet rebutted the argument by saying that the victim's clothing had been washed and dried since the incident occurred, therefore eliminating any DNA evidence that might have been present.
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