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United States v. Goldtooth

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

June 12, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CORBERT GOLDTOOTH, Defendant-Appellant. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MYRON TSOSIE, Defendant-Appellant

Argued and Submitted, San Francisco, California: March 10, 2014.

Page 764

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. D.C. No. 3:11-cr-08190-JAT-1, D.C. No. 3:11-cr-08190-JAT-3. James A. Teilborg, Senior District Judge, Presiding.

Tyrone Mitchell, Tyrone Mitchell, P.C., Phoenix, Arizona, for Defendant-Appellant Corbert Goldtooth.

James S. Park, Park Law Office, PLC, Phoenix, Arizona, for Defendant-Appellant Myron Tsosie.

Rachel C. Hernandez (argued) and Tracy Van Buskirk, Assistant United States Attorneys, Phoenix, Arizona, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: John T. Noonan, Sidney R. Thomas, and Marsha S. Berzon, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Noonan.

OPINION

Page 765

NOONAN, Circuit Judge:

Corbert Goldtooth and Myron Tsosie (together, " Appellants" ) appeal their convictions on two counts of aiding and abetting robbery on the Navajo Nation. Because no rational juror could have convicted either man of either count, we reverse.

I

A

The facts are not in dispute. In the early morning hours of July 31, 2011, Kallen Crawford and Sheldon Davis, both in their late teens, were rolling tobacco and smoking cigarettes outside a gas station in

Page 766

Fort Defiance, Arizona, a small community within the Navajo Nation. At approximately two a.m., a four-door sedan driven by a woman arrived at the gas station. Three men, two of whom the police later identified as Appellants, exited the vehicle and walked over to Crawford and Davis, who were seated next to each other on the curb. As the strangers approached, Crawford and Davis noticed that each man was trying to conceal a weapon--one carried a baseball bat, another held a 12-inch knife, and the third had a pocket ...


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