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. McArthur

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

May 22, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CARL McARTHUR, Defendant.

          ORDER

          C.J. Williams, United States District Judge.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION .......................................................................... 2

         II. ELEMENTS .................................................................................. 2

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS ..................................................................... 4

         IV. TRIAL TESTIMONY ...................................................................... 4

         The 911 Call and Police Response ............................................... 4

         Sara Lyon's Testimony ............................................................. 9

         Jared Evans' Testimony ........................................................... 11

         Blayze Harding's Testimony ..................................................... 13

         Statements by Defendant .......................................................... 16

         V. ANALYSIS .................................................................................. 18

         VI. CONCLUSION .......................................................................... 28

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Defendant Carl McArthur waived jury trial and I found defendant guilty after conducting a bench trial on May 14 and 15, 2019.

         In an indictment, a grand jury charged defendant in one count with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Sections 922(g)(1), 922(g)(9), and 924(a)(2). (Doc. 2). Specifically, the indictment alleges that defendant was prohibited from possessing a firearm because he was convicted of both a felony and a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The indictment alleges that defendant possessed a Taurus Model 45-410 .45 caliber revolver on or about March 17, 2018.

         At the conclusion of the evidence on the morning of May 15, 2019, defendant combined his motion for judgment of acquittal under Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure with his closing argument on the merits. I took defendant's motion and the case under advisement. On May 16, 2019, I announced my verdict in open court. When I began to provide an oral explanation for my verdict, however, defendant began yelling and became disruptive. When defendant refused to settle down, I ceased attempting to provide an oral explanation and recessed court. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(c), I now state my specific findings in a written decision.

         II. ELEMENTS

         The crime of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm has three elements, which are:

One, defendant was prohibited from possessing a firearm, in this case either because he had previously been convicted of either (a) a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or (b) a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;
Two, after that, defendant knowingly possessed a firearm, in this case a Taurus Model 45-410 .45 caliber revolver; and
Three, the firearm was transported across a state line at some time during or before the defendant's possession of it.

         Eighth Circuit Model Criminal Instruction 6.18.922A; 6.18.922C. Defendant stipulated that he had previously been convicted of both a felony offense and a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Exhibit 23. Specifically, defendant stipulated that on November 20, 2009, defendant was convicted of the felony offense of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, in case number 09-CR-3-1-LRR.[1] He further stipulated that on June 9, 2003, he was convicted of the misdemeanor crime of Assault Causing Bodily Injury (Domestic Abuse), in the Iowa District Court for Linn County, in case number SRCR51361-0603. Defendant further stipulated that the firearm was transported across a state line at some time during or before he possessed it. Id. Thus, the only element at issue during the trial was whether defendant knowingly possessed the firearm.

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         It is undisputed that the government bears the burden of proving each element of each charge beyond a reasonable doubt. It is useful to review and consider the standard explanation of “reasonable doubt” provided to jurors, a standard that is equally binding on me as a fact-finder:

Reasonable doubt is a doubt based upon reason and common sense, and not doubt based on speculation. A reasonable doubt may arise from careful and impartial consideration of all of the evidence, or from a lack of evidence. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof of such a convincing character that a reasonable person, after careful consideration, would not hesitate to rely and act upon that proof in life's most important decisions. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced of the defendant's guilt. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean proof beyond all possible doubt.

Eighth Circuit Model Criminal Instruction 3.11.

         Defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal is governed by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29, which provides: “After the government closes its evidence or after the close of all the evidence, the court on the defendant's motion must enter a judgment of acquittal of any offense for which the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 29(a). Sufficient evidence exists to support a verdict if “‘after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.'” United States v. Jiminez-Perez, 238 F.3d 970, 972 (8th Cir. 2001) (quoting Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (1979)).

         IV.TRIAL TESTIMONY

         The 911 Call and Police Response

         At approximately 9:25 AM, on Saturday, March 17, 2018, the Cedar Rapids Police Department received a 911 call. In a soft voice, a female stated she needed an officer and gave the address of a home on 20th Street in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She then hung up. Exhibit 1A. The 911 operator called the number back and after a few rings a female answered the telephone. When asked by the operator what the nature of the emergency was, the female only repeated the address and hung up. Exhibit 1B.

         Cedar Rapids Police Officer Gary Idle, a twenty-year veteran of the department, was on patrol nearby the reported location and was the first officer to respond to the scene. He arrived within a few minutes of the 911 call. Although he activated the emergency lights on his patrol car when responding to the house, he did not activate the siren on his vehicle. Officer Idle was familiar with the house, having been there on several occasions in response to domestic disturbance calls. He had never before found a firearm or evidence connected to a firearm there.

         The house was extremely small. Exhibit 5. Officer Idle estimated that the first floor was less than 600 square feet. The front door opened into a small living room that the officer estimated was ten feet by ten feet. Directly across the living room from the front door was a doorway into the kitchen. Exhibit 7. In the kitchen were stairs leading to the basement. Inside to the right of the front door was a chair, an end table, and a couch. To the left was a doorway into the only bedroom on the main floor, and through that bedroom was a bathroom. The distance from the front door to the entrance into the bedroom was approximately six feet.

         Officer Idle was aware that Sara Lyon lived in the house. Officer Schrader arrived at the house at about the same time as Officer Idle. Officer Idle observed several cars parked on the street outside the house and noticed that a maroon car was running, although he did not see anyone in the car.

         As Officer Idle approached the house, he heard a “verbal disturbance” inside. Officer Idle knocked on the front door, announced that he was a Cedar Rapids Police Officer and stated something to the effect that he was making a welfare check. No. one came to the door. The front door was already open about a foot. Officer Idle could see one white man sitting on a chair inside. Officer Idle placed his foot against the front door. After he knocked and announced his presence, Officer Idle then felt someone pushing against the door, as if to shut it. At that point, Officer Idle forced the door back and entered the room. Officer Schrader entered the house behind Officer Idle. Inside the living room Officer Idle found ...


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.