The Chesapeake City Councilwoman’s attorney speaks out after the indictment

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Chesapeake City Councilwoman Amanda Newins’ legal team plans to fight her felony charges in court.

In a statement, Newins’ attorney Kristin Paulding said the allegations were false and politically motivated.

“We are disappointed that the Commonwealth has decided to charge Amanda with this offence. Amanda was practically raised by her uncle, and the claim that she exploited him financially is dead wrong. We look forward to the time when Amanda can finally tell her story.

“The charges follow a civil lawsuit filed by her family members. That lawsuit was filed just weeks before the city council election. It’s sad to see that the same people who campaigned to destroy Amanda’s career are also supporting these criminal charges.

“We intend to conscientiously fight this criminal charge and show that Amanda’s actions were reasonable and in no way reached the level of financial exploitation.”

Newin’s former Virginia Beach neighbors come to her defense. It comes a day after the Chesapeake City Councilwoman was indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday. Newins is accused of financially exploiting a vulnerable adult in 2021.

“Innocent until proven guilty,” said Chris Pauley, Newins’ former Kempsville neighbor. “I have no reason to doubt them.”

The Kempsville Road home where Newins lived with her great-aunt and late uncle Shirley and Bobby Davis is the center of a civil lawsuit against Newins.

In the civil suit — separate from Tuesday’s criminal complaint — Shirley Davis alleges that her niece, who is also an attorney, illegally transferred ownership of her home to Newins’ name.

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A neighbor who asked not to be named tells News 3 that she has known Newins and the Davises for many years. She said Newins did a lot for her and believes the councilwoman is innocent.

Criminal defense attorney Sonny Stallings said if Newins is convicted of the crime, she could lose her license to practice law in Virginia.

However, Stallings said the case could be difficult to prove.

“I think the devil is in the details,” he said.

According to court records, Newins’ late uncle was suffering from “late-stage Alzheimer’s and advanced dementia” when the deed was delivered to Newins.

“There are some legal issues here for the Commonwealth to prove,” Stallings said. “You have to prove that this person who made that transfer two years ago didn’t know what they were doing at the time and that can be difficult.”

Chesapeake Mayor Rick West declined to comment, telling News 3 reporter Antoinette DelBel, “The case should be decided in court, not the news.”