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Posted November 29, 2012 | comments 16 Comments

Woman sentenced to seven months in shooting of boyfriend

By Joe Beck

A Stephens City woman was sentenced Monday in Frederick County Circuit Court to five years in prison, most of it suspended, in the shooting of her boyfriend David R. Dawson.

Monday's sentence imposed by Judge Donald Haddock followed the terms of a plea agreement reached in September. Bernice Carper Viverette, 67, at that time pleaded guilty to discharge of a firearm in an occupied building and possession of a firearm after being convicted of a non-violent felony.

In exchange for the guilty pleas, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis McLoughlin agreed to drop charges of malicious wounding, shooting in the commission of a felony use of a firearm in the commission of a felony; and domestic assault. He also agreed to recommend suspension of all but seven months of the five-year prison term she received. The sentence also included three years probation.

Viverette may be able to serve her seven months at home under electronic monitoring depending on the findings jail authorities reach about her suitability for such a sentence.

Viverette's convictions stem from a shooting in Nov. 24, 2010 at the home she shared with Dawson at 427 Westmoreland Drive in Stephens City.

Court records show Dawson told a law enforcement officer that Viverette "leveled and aimed a small firearm at him," and fired two rounds. One struck his lower leg, according to the criminal complaint.

Viverette dashed upstairs after shooting Dawson and fled in her vehicle, according to the court records. She was arrested within about six minutes after the shooting was reported at 9:30 p.m., authorities said.

Viverette's criminal record includes convictions on several drug-related offenses and one charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, according to court records.


    So I'm guessing that Viverette is her first name and it never mentions the last name. What is this? A Yahoo article??

    must be something even worse than a Yahoo article? Writing on a phone booth wall (remember them?). I can only hope there is some good excuse for giving anyone such a slap on the wrist for SHOOTING their significant other. I was hoping to read this and find that she was defending herself, but this is not mentioned either! If there were no extenuating circumstances such as self defense, this sentence is a travesty. That goes for the article, too.

    I bet if it was a man who shot or even punched a woman, he would have gotten 10 years.

      There is too much violence in our society and world. Turn on TV and take it from there. They kids are watching!

      You said, "I bet if it was a man who shot or even punched a woman, he would have gotten 10 years". I said, "Baloney". Men have been getting away with abuse and murder for a long, long time. It's only now being considered a crime to beat your wife etc.

      So even if you think this "female" got off easy or not, men still do most of the crime.

    By these standards the shooter should get a commendation for shooting a commonwealth's attorney or a judge.

    So she got OFF basically scott free? Home arrest is really NOT serving ANY TIME!!!! She's NOT IN JAIL!!

    Another sweet plea deal with all other charges dropped by the lazy Commonwealth's Attorney. House arrest is NOT jail so basically she is off scott-free.

    Rusty .....
    I am assuming that you do not have any daughters!
    This man should not have to serve any time in my opinion.
    The boy was warned several times!
    I probably would have done the same thing.
    Besides, that case is closed.Let it rest.

      Regardless of the "warnings" it does not justify the actions. Some say the kid got what he deserved, standing up for the vigilante justice, but no one should blow a kids head off in cold blood after barricading him in the attic. The case is closed and it is a shame because at its disposition, it is one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in Shenandoah County and sets the guideline from which all future miscarriages of justice are judged by.

      Go sit in a court room, it happens daily The Judges and the Commonwealth Attorneys do not have the backbone to hold people accountable for their repeated "Mala en se" actions.

      yeah, because ruining your daughter's life because you are a butthurt some kid is getting more than you is completely justifiable, some vigilante will serve him justice when his sentence is up.

      On topic, yes she got off because she has boobs, if it was a man he would have been charged.

    @ Cindarella "A commendation for shooting" from the Judge? She only hit him once out of two shots at close range.

    The real issue is that we do not know what happened in the court room. It's obvious the reporter did not watch the proceedings, but is reciting what he found in the court file. Did the victim agree with this resolution? Was there a problem with the evidence? A mental health issue? Unanswered questions that are not addressed in the article because we do not know why the "deal" was reached.

    And I swore up and I down I wouldn’t jump into the fray…..
    The case, as you say, is indeed closed. But I know factually, that the actions of one arrogant, irrational man against an unarmed child have destroyed the lives of two families. The innocence of this community and the children that live in it was taken by one person who made a choice to hold themselves above the law.
    The use of deadly force to subdue an unarmed, non-combative person will never be acceptable to me nor should it be acceptable to the citizens of this community, those of the Commonwealth of Virginia and these great United States of America.
    How many times did you “Castle Doctrine” believers do stupid things as teenagers for which you were warned and yet remarkably did not pay for with your life? It is thought worth consideration before making ridiculous assertions about “warnings” being adequate justification for murder.
    A single shot to the head, at close range, is not a warning. It is (and was) an execution.

    OK, I writing on the article here. I have no clue what happened with boy and his girlfriend!

    I think the woman in the article yes she got "yes she got off because she has boobs". It almost sounds like if her boyfriend was an abuser, he would of probably kicked her butt after the shooting.

    Diana: yep there are some of us males that abuse females. But I along as alot of others do not abuse my spouse! I have no clue on the boyfriends side of what happened, but I think he was probably just watching football or something like that, and the girlfreind got pissed. We'll we know how hormones go!,.,,LOL

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