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The original item was published from 10/11/2022 10:10:00 AM to 11/1/2022 7:40:19 AM.

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Commonwealth's Attorney

Posted on: October 7, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Commonwealth's Attorney Buta Biberaj’s Statement Regarding Colburn’s Erroneous Release

Stone Lee Colburn was released by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at 3:23 pm yesterday from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center (jail). We ask that anyone in the community with information about his whereabouts contact 911 immediately. The capture of Colburn is our first and foremost priority.

Colburn’s release was the result of an error by the LCSO and occurred despite the Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney’s Office filing an additional charge against Mr. Colburn at 9:08 am on October 6, 2022 in the Loudoun County Circuit Court. The Circuit Court directed that Colburn be transported to the jail so that he would answer to the charge. The additional charge was for the specific purpose of ensuring Colburn’s continuing incarceration and to allow for a second competency evaluation in the higher court.

“Based on the severity of the crime and the concerns for the current and future safety of the community, we consulted with other mental health evaluators and concluded we needed a second evaluation. That request was denied by the General District Court,” said Buta Biberaj. “We could not in good conscience allow Colburn to avoid a trial as we were not convinced that he cannot be restored to competency.”

“We were diligent in using our most experienced attorneys and the court in fashioning a safety plan to make sure that Colburn remained in custody as we navigated the processes within the justice system” said Biberaj.

On October 5, 2022, the Commonwealth’s Attorney instructed LCSO to travel to Petersburg, Virginia to pick up Colburn from Central State Hospital. In the early morning on October 6, 2022, the Commonwealth's Attorney’s office provided copies of the Circuit Court documents to the jail and lead detective. Per the court’s order, Colburn was to be delivered to the jail so he could be served with a new charge and continue to be held in custody. The competency hearing was held at 1:00 p.m. on October 6, 2022. The Commonwealth renewed its motion for a second evaluation; the request was denied. Rather than risking a finding of incompetency by the court, and knowing that the Circuit Court entered its order earlier in the day with the new charge, the Commonwealth’s motion to nolle prosequi the General District Court charges was granted. Colburn was to remain in custody on the new charge. After the hearing, Colburn was delivered to the jail and erroneously released.

This morning, Biberaj appeared in the Loudoun County Circuit Court and obtained a capias from Judge Plowman that directs the re-arrest of Colburn. Biberaj stated, “I actively stand ready to protect our community and am available to the Sheriff’s Office to help in every effort to capture Colburn.”

Biberaj said, “Our office is greatly disappointed by the LCSO’s recent press release that mischaracterizes the release of Colburn and their lack of accountability. It attempts to mislead the public and unfairly shift the blame to our office.”

Background information on the Commonwealth v. Stone Lee Colburn case

On July 3, 2021, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Stone Lee Colburn with 2nd degree murder of Natalie Crow, and the stabbing in the commission of the murder. Colburn was held in custody without a bond pending a preliminary hearing the General District Court. On the motion of his counsel, Colburn was transported to Central State Hospital, in Petersburg, Virginia for a competency evaluation and efforts towards restoration. A report was filed with the General District Court opining that Colburn was incompetent to stand trial for the alleged murder of Natalie Crow. The Commonwealth requested funds for a second evaluation; the motion was denied. The Commonwealth determined that these matters should be elevated to the Circuit Court for further proceedings.

Contact: Media Relations

  • Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney
  • 20 East Market Street, Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
  • Email: OCACommunity@Loudoun.gov
  • Phone: 571-258-3330


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