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Legal 303: Homicide and Major Violent Crime Investigations

Course length

About the course

In this course, students will examine the challenges in complex homicide investigations and investigations into major violent crimes such as complex cases of abduction, felony assault, and sexual assault. The course will examine issues regarding search warrants, managing investigations, electronic evidence, and challenging issues with informants or witnesses. The course will also examine challenges regarding media relations and managing cooperation among multiple investigating agencies. The course is taught by a team of prosecutors, each of whom has 20 years of experience prosecuting and teaching law enforcement in Virginia and throughout the U.S. This course is designed for both investigators and command staff who may either investigate or manage homicide, sexual assault, and other violent cases.

Your instructor(s):
Elliott Casey is a Staff Attorney for the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council. Elliott has 15 years’ experience as a prosecutor, having served as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for the County of Albemarle, the City of Alexandria and the County of Arlington in Virginia, and several more years of experience in law enforcement and as an attorney. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Elliott also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. Elliott specializes in digital evidence, Fourth Amendment issues, and complex financial crime. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, is proficient in Spanish, German, and Japanese, and has experience speaking Chinese, French, and Korean. Elliott also instructs law enforcement agencies throughout the Virginia and D.C. area and investigators around the United States. Elliott instructs for the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, and many other groups. Elliott was honored with the Virginia IASIU Outstanding Public Service Award in 2022 as well as Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly 2022 “Leaders in the Law” award.

Bryan Porter is the elected Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Alexandria, Virginia, his hometown. He was first elected in 2014 and is currently serving his third term in office.
Bryan began his career as a police officer, working the midnight shift while
attending law school. He obtained his law degree from the George Mason University School of Law in 2001. Immediately after passing the bar exam, Bryan was hired as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Alexandria. During his tenure as an assistant, Bryan conducted the investigation and prosecution of hundreds of violent offenses, including robberies, shootings, and gang offenses. Bryan has served as the lead prosecutor on a number of murder and manslaughter cases.
Bryan is the author of a book about the investigation and trial of a serial killer case he handled, The Parable of the Knocker. Bryan has taught constitutional law and civil liability to literally thousands of citizens, law enforcement officers, and lawyers. He has taught subjects as varied as prosecutorial ethics, search and seizure law, and the conduct of murder investigations and prosecutions. Bryan has also taught constitutional law to citizens at community events and at the annual Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Citizen’s Academy he initiated in 2017.

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