Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Johnson

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

November 2, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Christopher Michael Johnson, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and Submitted March 10, 2017 Pasadena, California

         Appeal from the United States District Court No. 2:14-cr-00208-BRO-1 for the Central District of California Beverly Reid O'Connell, District Judge, Presiding

          Robert Rabe (argued), Muna Busailah, and Michael P. Stone, Stone Busailah LLP, Pasadena, California, for Defendant-Appellant.

          Bruce K. Riordan (argued), Assistant United States Attorney, Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section; Lawrence S. Middleton, Chief, Criminal Division; United States Attorney's Office, Los Angeles, California; for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          Before: Richard A. Paez, Marsha S. Berzon, and Morgan Christen, Circuit Judges.

         SUMMARY [*]

         Criminal Law

         The panel reversed the district court's denial of the defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal in a case in which the defendant was convicted of obstruction of justice under 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(3) for failing to include material information about the use of force upon an inmate in reports documenting the encounter with the inmate.

         The panel held that the "reasonable likelihood" standard articulated in Fowler v. United States, 563 U.S. 668 (2011), applies to the federal nexus requirement of § 1512(b)(3). Applying the Fowler standard, the panel held that there was insufficient evidence for any rational juror to find that it was reasonably likely that the defendant's reports would have reached federal officers.

          OPINION

          PAEZ, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Defendant Christopher Johnson ("Johnson") appeals his obstruction of justice conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(3). The basis for Johnson's prosecution was his failure to include material information about the use of force upon an inmate in several reports documenting the encounter with the inmate. On appeal, Johnson argues that the Government failed to present sufficient evidence of a federal nexus for the alleged offense.

         Reviewing de novo and applying the federal nexus standard established in Fowler v. United States, we agree. More precisely, we hold that there was insufficient evidence for any rational juror to find that it was reasonably likely that Johnson's reports would have reached federal officers. We therefore reverse the district court's denial of Johnson's motion for a judgment of acquittal under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29.

         I.

         On June 17, 2013, Johnson was a custodial deputy working in the control room of the Santa Barbara County Main Jail Inmate Reception Center ("IRC"). A pre-trial detainee, C.O., began using the emergency intercom system to contact the control room with non-emergency calls. As a result, Johnson enlisted Kirsch, another deputy, to accompany him to the detainee's cell to "counsel" him about proper usage of the intercom system. When C.O. responded belligerently, Johnson and Kirsch handcuffed the detainee and proceeded to lead him ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.