An Act for the relief of Michael Kenneth McAlister.
Approved April 8, 2016
Whereas, on September 24, 1986, Michael Kenneth McAlister (Mr.
McAlister) was convicted of attempted rape and abduction with the intent to defile
in the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond and on December 1, 1986, Mr.
McAlister was sentenced to serve 10 years for attempted rape and 40 years for
abduction with the intent to defile; and
Whereas, on the night of February 23, 1986, in the laundry
room of the Town & Country apartment complex in Richmond, a female resident
of the complex was attacked by a white male approximately six feet tall wearing
a plaid shirt and a stocking mask over his face and brandishing a knife; and
Whereas, during the investigation of the attack on February,
23, 1986, a picture of Mr. McAlister in a plaid shirt was shown to the victim
and the victim positively identified Mr. McAlister; and
Whereas, in the year prior to and directly after this attack,
a white male approximately six feet tall wearing a stocking mask over his face
and carrying a knife attacked women five other times in four other apartment
complex laundry rooms; two such attacks occurred while Mr. McAlister was held
in the Richmond City jail; and
Whereas, as a result of such attacks a special action police
force (SAF) including several police jurisdictions, including the Henrico
County Police Department, began following a man named Norman Bruce Derr (Derr),
whom they suspected of being a serial rapist and who bore a striking
resemblance to Mr. McAlister and who police investigators had followed to a
laundry room at the same Town & Country apartment complex and witnessed him
prepare to attack a female police decoy in that laundry room; and
Whereas, the lead detective on the investigation only learned
about the SAF investigation of Derr and of his striking resemblance to Mr.
McAlister after the victim had identified Mr. McAlister in the photo line-up;
Whereas, Derr was convicted of numerous other rapes, including
a 1984 rape, forcible sodomy, and armed burglary of a Hanover county woman; the
1984 rape of a Charles County, Maryland, woman; the 1985 robbery of a
Spotsylvania County woman; and the 1988 rape, forcible sodomy, burglary, and
abduction of a Fredericksburg woman; and
Whereas, Mr. McAlister was scheduled to be released on January
15, 2015, but was held in prison beyond that date as part of the Commonwealth's
civil commitment process; and
Whereas, Mr. McAlister's indefinite detention as well as the
accumulation of evidence of Derr's criminal history over the years and other
indications of Mr. McAlister's innocence led the Richmond Attorney for the
Commonwealth, Michael Herring, to support Mr. McAlister's efforts to obtain an
absolute pardon from Governor McAuliffe, and on April 8, 2015, Mr. McAlister,
together with Mr. Herring, submitted his Joint Petition for Absolute Pardon to
Governor McAuliffe; and
Whereas, on April 29, 2015, Derr confessed to the February 23,
1986, attempted rape and abduction with intent to defile; and
Whereas, on May 13, 2015, Governor McAuliffe granted Mr.
McAlister's request for an absolute pardon; and
Whereas, Mr. McAlister has no other means to obtain adequate
relief except by action of this body; now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. § 1. That there is hereby appropriated from the
general fund of the state treasury the sum of $1,268,694 for the relief of Mr.
McAlister, to be paid by check issued by the State Treasurer on warrant of the
Comptroller upon execution of a release of any present or future claims Mr.
McAlister may have against (i) the Commonwealth or any agency, instrumentality,
officer, employee, or political subdivision thereof, (ii) any legal counsel
appointed pursuant to § 19.2-159 of the Code of Virginia, and (iii) all other
parties of interest in connection with the aforesaid occurrence.
The compensation, subject to the execution of the release
described herein, shall be paid as follows: (a) an initial lump sum of $253,740
to be paid to Mr. McAlister by check issued by the State Treasurer on warrant
of the Comptroller within 60 days immediately following the execution of such
release and (b) the sum of $1,014,954 to purchase an annuity no later than
September 30, 2016, for the primary benefit of Mr. McAlister, the terms of such
annuity structured in Mr. McAlister's best interests based on consultation
among Mr. McAlister or his representatives, the State Treasurer, and other
The State Treasurer shall purchase the annuity at the
lowest cost available from any A+ rated company authorized to sell annuities in
the Commonwealth, including any A+ rated company from which the State Lottery
Department may purchase an annuity. The annuity shall provide that it shall not
be sold, discounted, or used as securitization for loans and mortgages. The
annuity shall, however, contain beneficiary provisions providing for the
annuity's continued disbursement in the event of Mr. McAlister's death.
2. That the provisions of § 8.01-195.12 of the Code of
Virginia shall apply to any compensation awarded under this act.