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United States v. Davies

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division

February 12, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTOPHER MATTHEW DAVIES, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LINDA R. READF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION .......................................1

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND ....................1

         III. FINDINGS OF FACT ....................................2

         IV. BENCH TRIAL ........................................3

         A. Elements of the Crime ................................ 3

         B. Analysis ......................................... 4

         1. Statutory-purpose analysis ......................... 5

         2. Post-Schilling decisions ........................... 7

         3. Determination of Defendant's guilt ................... 9

         C. Verdict ......................................... 10

         V. MOTION FOR JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL ................... 10

         VI. DISPOSITION ........................................ 11

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The matters before the court are judgment on Defendant Christopher Matthew Davies's bench trial, and Defendant's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal (“Acquittal Motion”).

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On May 3, 2017, a grand jury returned a one-count Indictment (docket no. 2) charging Defendant with possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). On December 1, 2017, Defendant filed a Waiver of Jury Trial (docket no. 15). On December 27, 2017, the government filed a Notice of Consent to a Non-Jury Trial (docket no. 18). On January 2, 2018, the parties filed a “Joint Stipulation in Lieu of Trial Evidence” (“Stipulation”) (docket no. 20) and Exhibit A (docket no. 20-1). On January 4, 2018, the parties filed Exhibit B (docket no. 21) and Exhibit C (docket no. 21-1). On January 11, 2018, the court conducted the bench trial. See January 11, 2018 Minute Entry (docket no. 22). The court admitted the Stipulation and Exhibits A-C into evidence; no additional witness testimony or evidence was received. See id. Defendant ore tenus moved for a judgment of acquittal, and the court reserved ruling. See id. The parties made oral argument as to the verdict. See id. On January 18, 2018, Defendant filed his trial brief (“Defendant's Trial Brief”) (docket no. 23). On January 21, 2018, the government filed its trial brief (“Government's Trial Brief”) (docket no. 24). The matters are fully submitted and ready for decision.

         III. FINDINGS OF FACT

         The court makes the following factual findings beyond a reasonable doubt:

         On September 8, 2016, Defendant, pursuant to an oral plea agreement, pleaded guilty to two felony counts in two criminal cases before the Iowa District Court for Linn County (“Iowa District Court”). In Case No. FECR116311, Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, a violation of Iowa Code §§ 715A.2(1), 715A.2(1)(c) and 715A.2(2)(a). In Case No. FECR116474, Defendant pleaded guilty to burglary in the third degree, in violation of Iowa Code §§ 713.1 and 713.6A. Each charge was punishable by a term of imprisonment greater than one year. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Defendant also pleaded guilty to two lesser-included misdemeanors in two other counts; two additional counts were expected to be dismissed by the State of Iowa at the time of sentencing. The Iowa District Court scheduled sentencing for December 13, 2016. Defendant remained at liberty pending sentencing.

         On October 25, 2016, Defendant traveled to the home of his mother and her live-in boyfriend in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, within the Northern District of Iowa. There, Defendant took knowing possession of a Savage Model 112 .22-250-caliber rifle, bearing the serial number F439551, and a Marlin Model 60 .22-caliber rifle, bearing the serial number 06225280 (collectively, “the firearms”). Each is a firearm because each is designed to, and will, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. The firearms were both manufactured outside of the State of Iowa. Each was transported across a state line and traveled in ...


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