Delegate Cliff Hayes, others pushing for Brian Faulcon's pardon before end of Gov. Northam's term

Posted at 9:06 PM, Dec 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 01:01:28-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - This weekend, a community rallied to get Gov. Ralph Northam's attention for a local man's pardon plea.

State and community leaders, along with family and friends of Brian Faulcon, came together in Chesapeake Saturday for a robbery, Faulcon said, he didn’t commit.

“We do have some time, and we’re praying that he will be home for Christmas,” Brian’s mother, Cynthia Faulcon, told News 3.

His chance at exoneration is through either an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or a pardon granted by Gov. Northam before his term as Virginia Governor ends in January.

One of the main supporters of a petition circulating, calling for Faulcon's pardon, is Delegate Cliff Hayes of Virginia’s 77th District, a longtime friend of the Faulcon family.

“We’re happy that [the pardoning process] is a fail-safe, if you will, to a process of what’s supposed to be justice,” Del. Hayes said at Saturday’s rally. “But, many times, black people find themselves on the wrong side.”

“Time and time again, you keep reading about stuff that we live,” Del. Hayes added. “It’s real. We live this experience.”

Faulcon, a former Chesapeake basketball coach, has spent nearly a decade trying to prove he's not the gunman -- who robbed a pizza delivery woman off Eden Way back in 2012. She identified Faulcon as the man who stole $14 from her pocket.

News 3 Investigates revealed the DNA evidence found in the victim’s pocket does not connect Faulcon to the crime.

Also, court documents reveal the silver gun the victim said the robber had does not match the black gun Faulcon legally owned.

Plus, News 3 exposed a surveillance image of a different man who robbed a nearby 7-Eleven that same night that didn't surface until after Faulcon was convicted.

Police never investigated a connection, even though the convenience store robber more closely matched the victim's description.

“I know Brian. I know his family. Some of these processes that have taken place just are not fair or just,” Del. Hayes said. “We need to make sure there’s justice.”

Del. Hayes said he plans on bringing up issues related to Faulcon's case to discuss with state lawmakers within the General Assembly in the next session, including how evidence is administered.

“I’m not sure that’s the best time to go riding around with the victim, rounding up folks, saying that’s who did it, and so forth, under that immense mental stress,” Del. Hayes said. “That’s something, I believe, needs to be looked into with our state law.”

“Certainly, we empathize with victims of crime, but we want to make sure that we get the right people,” Del. Hayes added. “There needs to be a process of clear thinking.”

Del. Hayes told News 3 he and others have been leaning on Gov. Northam to take a close look at Faulcon's situation.

Recently, News 3 asked Gov. Northam about Faulcon's case.

“We’re looking into a lot of cases right now. As you might imagine, we’re coming down the home stretch,” Gov. Northam told News 3. “We’re looking at one case at a time. We certainly don’t want to rush through this process. We want to make sure it’s done right. That’s one of the cases that we’re looking at.”

Meanwhile, Del. Hayes shared with us his message to Gov. Northam.

“You are a governor that has lent yourself to justice, and we’re proud of that fact,” Del. Hayes said. “Here’s another situation that we believe you have the opportunity to continue that track record of administering justice.”