Marital privilege; person may refuse to disclose communication between his spouse and him. (HB2426)

Introduced By

Del. Riley Ingram (R-Hopewell)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Marital privilege in criminal cases.  Provides that, except in the prosecution for certain specified criminal offenses, in any criminal proceeding a person has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent anyone else from disclosing, any confidential communication between his spouse and him during their marriage, provided he is married to that spouse at the time he objects to disclosure. Current law provides that the privilege survives regardless of whether he is married to that spouse at the time he objects to the disclosure. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/18/2011Presented and ordered printed 11103935D
01/18/2011Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/19/2011Assigned Courts sub: #1 Criminal
01/24/2011Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely
02/08/2011Left in Courts of Justice


Editor’s Pick
Lloyd Snook writes:

This bill is an effort to resurrect a Hopewell case where the husband supposedly made a statement to his second wife that he had killed his first wife. The statement was supposedly made in 1972 about the first wife's death in 1964. The statement was first reported to law enforcement in 2010 -- 38 years after it was supposedly made. The second wife, by the way, has serious mental health issues. The judge threw the statement out, using this statute -- a statute that the Commonwealth's Attorney was apparently ignorant of when he got the indictment.

When they arrested the defendant and took his DNA and sent the DNA for analysis, the only match they could get was to the DNA of a police evidence technician. In short, they screwed up the case every way that they could possibly screw it up.

Now Riley Ingram is trying to bail out his Commonwealth's Attorney, who was terribly embarrassed when he had to move to withdraw the case.

Lloyd Snook writes:

I should have added, in the interests of complete disclosure, that I represented the defendant when the case was thrown out.