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Taybronne White Sentenced for Triple Murder

By: Chris Stover Email
By: Chris Stover Email

White's Charges

Judge Daniel Bouton broke down White's 76-year sentence based on his 10 convictions.

Satutory Burglary - 20 years
Attempted Robbery - 2 years
Using a Firearm in Commission of a Robbery - 3 years
First-degree Murder of Lisa Hwang - 25 years
Using a Firearm in Commission of First-degree Murder - 3 years
Second-degree Murder of Dustin Knighton - 5 years
Using a Firearm in Commission of Second-degree Murder - 3 years
Second-degree Murder of Brian Daniels - 10 years
Using a Firearm in Commission of Second-degree Murder - 3 years
Possession of a Firearm - 2 years

January 15, 2014

The Greene County man convicted last year in a triple homicide has been formally sentenced to 76 years in prison.

Taybronne White received the sentence Wednesday in Greene County Circuit Court.

"Injustice has taken place here in Greene County," said Alonzo Cutchin, White's father, who has spoken out against the verdict since the trial

A jury found White guilty of 10 felonies, including the first-degree murder of Lisa Hwang and the second-degree murders of Dustin Knighton and Brian Daniels, all relating to an incident on Octonia Road in May 2011.

"I think it's ridiculous," White told the court just before his sentencing. "This whole case is ridiculous. I feel like I was set up."

White said Greene County investigators didn't fully look into all possible suspects.

"My son hasn't had a fair trial," Cutchin said. "There's no evidence proving my son guilty of anything. This is one of the biggest kangaroo courts I've ever seen."

Prior to sentencing, commonwealth's attorney Ron Morris called the jury's recommended sentence fair, saying that "serious crimes deserve serious punishment." Morris said that white "creates a danger to the community."

White's court-appointed lawyer, Edward Ungvarsky, said the Commonwealth of Virginia has set him up to fail, referencing his troubled background in the foster care system. He said White's mother smoked crack while pregnant with him and was not a consistent nurturing source.

"His life, before he was even out of the womb, was damaged," Ungvarsky said.

White's father was also absent for parts of his childhood, but he stands by his son's statements that he's innocent.

"We're going to appeal. We're going to take this to the highest court," Cutchin said. "But we will get him vindicated. There is no evidence against my son."

The defense brought in an expert witness, neuropsychologist Dr. Joette James. She spent time with White and studied his history to produce a report for the defense.

She testified that White has an intellectual disability, saying his decision-making skills and judgment are impaired. She said he experienced significant trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being sexually abused while in foster care.

Still, the judge gave no leniency in his sentence.

"I think this is just a stage, and they perform well. They perform well," Cutchin said of the court. "I think this whole case is unconstitutional."

Some family members of the victims were in the courtroom but declined to give reaction to the sentence.


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