Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,500+ case briefs...

Biddle v. Commonwealth

Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia
141 S.E.2d 710 (1965)


Shirley Mae Biddle (defendant) was charged with the first-degree murder of her baby. There was evidence that, at the time of her death, the baby was extremely dehydrated, malnourished, and it appeared she had not eaten for several days. Police detectives noticed plenty of food in Biddle’s house and found another small child “lying on newspapers in a bassinet, with a leather jacket over her, and her diapers were wet and dirty and there was a rash on her buttocks.” At trial, medical testimony showed that the baby was born weighing 5 pounds 8 ounces. Upon the baby’s death, the infant weighed 4 pounds 5 and one-half ounces. Biddle testified that she fed the baby every day, but that she would not drink all the milk she gave her and also said that the baby never cried because she was hungry. Biddle said she loved the infant and did not treat her any differently than the rest of her children. Biddle’s husband accused her of having the baby, and the rest of her children, by other men. Biddle was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and she appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (I’Anson, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 409,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,500 briefs, keyed to 223 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial