Jurors Find Eubanks Guilty of 1st-Degree Murder of Albemarle Woman
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Jurors have found Cardian Omar Eubanks guilty of first-degree murder of 34-year-old Amanda Bates.
Eubanks was also found guilty of using a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The 35-year-old Charlottesville man had no reaction as Judge Cheryl Higgins read the verdicts.
Jurors in Albemarle Circuit Court deliberated for more than six hours Tuesday, March 5, before reaching a verdict. Around 9:15 p.m., the jury decided on a sentence of life plus eight years.
"They [the jury] were locked between first-degree and second-degree for some time. I am surprised they came back with first. Typically, when there is dispute between one charge and a lesser charge, they come in with the lesser charge," defense attorney Michael J. Hallahan said.
"We're very grateful and very satisfied,” said Norma Bates, the victim’s mother. “We have a huge victory here today."
Eubanks shot his soon-to-be-former fiancée three times in the head while she sat in an SUV outside her Richmond Road home March 24, 2018.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Amanda L. Galloway had argued Eubanks acted with premeditation: pointing out to the jury that the wedding between the victim and the defendant had been called off a week before the fatal shooting, and that it appears he had waited & followed her home that fateful night.
Hallahan said his client declined a 50-year plea deal that had been offered by the commonwealth.
Eubanks is scheduled to be sentenced on August 5.
03/05/2019 Release from the Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office:
After several hours of deliberation, an Albemarle County jury found Cardian Omar Eubanks guilty of the March 24, 2018 first degree murder of Amanda Bates. The jury also found Eubanks guilty of use of a firearm in the commission of murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon.
The jury recommended a life sentence for first degree murder plus 8 years on the firearms charges.
The jury heard evidence that Eubanks shot and murdered Ms. Bates while she was seated in the driver’s seat of her vehicle at her residence on Richmond Road last year. The commonwealth presented evidence that Ms. Bates had ended her relationship with Eubanks and he had moved out of their residence a month prior. At sentencing, the jury heard from friends and family members of Ms. Bates, who described the impact of this crime on Ms. Bates’s family and the larger community.
Eubanks will be formally sentenced on August 5, 2019 at 3 pm.
Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci expressed appreciation for the work of the Albemarle County Police Investigations Division, including Detectives Andrew Holmes, Phil Giles, Mike Arcoraci, and Drew Meyer. Albemarle County Patrol Officer Casey Mikus was among the first to arrive on scene to render assistance to Ms. Bates.
Tracci also expressed appreciation for victim rights and domestic abuse advocates who assisted with this case, including ACPD Victim Witness and Shelter for Help in Emergency.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Galloway, who Tracci commended for her outstanding work on this case.