United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
the trial of this matter, defendant, James Calvin Talley,
Jr., moved for Judgment of Acquittal as to Counts 1-3 and 8
of the Second Superseding Indictment. The denied
defendant's Oral Motion for Judgment of Acquittal and
Renewed Oral Motion for Judgment of Acquittal as to Counts 1,
2, and 8, and reserved ruling on the Motions as to Count 3.
For the reasons set forth herein, the court finds the Motions
for Judgment of Acquittal as to Count 3 of the Second
Superseding Indictment are due to be denied.
of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 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). “If the
court reserves decision, it must decide the motion on the
basis of the evidence at the time the ruling was
reserved.” Id. (b). “The applicable
standard for ruling on a motion for judgment of acquittal is
whether[, ] viewing the evidence presented most favorable to
the Government, a reasonable-minded jury could accept the
relevant and admissible evidence as adequate and sufficient
to support the conclusion of the defendant's guilt beyond
a reasonable doubt.” United States v. Brown,
587 F.2d 187, 190 (5th Cir. 1979)(internal citations and
quotations omitted); see also United States v.
Barron-Soto, 820 F.3d 409, 418 (11th Cir.
2016)(“To uphold the denial of a motion for judgment of
acquittal, [the Eleventh Circuit] need only determine that a
reasonable fact-finder could conclude that the evidence
established the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable
doubt. We examine the evidence in the light most favorable to
the government and resolve all reasonable inferences and
credibility evaluations in favor of the jury's
verdict.”)(internal quotations, citations and
challenges the sufficient of the Government's evidence as
to Count 3, which charges him with knowingly possessing two
firearms after being convicted of a felony in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Doc. 90 at 2.)
To prove a violation of being a felon in possession of a
firearm, the government must prove that (1) the defendant was
a convicted felon; (2) the defendant knowingly possessed a
firearm; and (3) the firearm affected or was in interstate
commerce. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2);
United States v. Wright, 392 F.3d 1269, 1273 (11th
Cir. 2004). Possession can be shown by circumstantial as well
as direct evidence, Wright, 392 F.3d at 1273, and
possession can be actual or constructive. United States
v. Gunn, 369 F.3d 1229, 1234 (11th Cir. 2004)(per
curiam). In order to establish constructive possession, the
government must produce evidence showing ownership, dominion,
or control over the firearm. Id. Constructive
possession may also be shown through evidence of ownership,
dominion, or control over the premises. See United States
v. Cochran, 683 F.3d 1314, 1320 (11th Cir. 2012). The
firearm need not be on or near the defendant's person in
order to amount to knowing possession. Wright, 392
F.3d at 1273.
United States v. Rucker, 588 Fed.Appx. 943, 945
(11th Cir. 2014). Evidence that a defendant has control over
the premises where the firearm is located permits a jury to
infer that the defendant has control over the firearm.
See Cochran, 683 F.3d at 1320 (citing United
States v. Mieres-Borges, 919 F.2d 652, 657 (11th Cir.
court finds that the Government's evidence is sufficient
to allow a reasonable jury to find defendant guilty of being
a felon in possession of firearm beyond a reasonable doubt.
See Barron-Soto, 820 F.3d at 418.
firearms - a Keltec P3AT .380 caliber pistol and a Taurus
Millennium PT 140 .40 caliber pistol - were found during a
consent search of Talley's residence. The guns were found
in a safe in the master bedroom of Talley's residence.
The DEA agent, Bryan Alfultis, testified Talley's wife
told him that the guns belonged to defendant Talley; she also
told Agent Alfultis where to find the key to the gun safe
where the guns and ammunition were found. This evidence is
sufficient to establish that Talley had constructive
possession of the firearms.
that Talley was a convicted felon and that the firearms had
traveled in interstate commerce was not challenged at trial.
the court finds that the evidence was sufficient to allow a
reasonable jury to find that Talley guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt of Count 3, being a felon in possession of a
firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The
Motions for Judgment of Acquittal as to Count 3 of the Second
Superseding Indictment will be denied.
Decisions of the former Fifth Circuit
Court of Appeals rendered prior to October 1, 1981,
constitute binding precedent in the Eleventh Circuit.
Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206, 1209
(11th Cir.1981) (en banc).
Count 3 of the Second Superseding
On or about December 3, 2016, in Autauga County,
within the Middle District of Alabama,
JAMES CALVIN TALLEY, JR.,
defendant herein, having been convicted of a
felony offense, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term
exceeding one year, ...