United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
K. DUBOSE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Dusten Andrew Richardson’s
Motion for Judgment of Acquittal and in the Alternative,
Motion for New Trial and the United States’ Response.
(Docs. 26 & 28). Richardson advances two main arguments.
First, Richardson argues he never completed the act of
stealing the firearms therefore cannot be convicted of
possessing stolen firearms. Second, Richardson argues that
the United States’ theory of the case-i.e., “a
defendant could commit a theft of a firearm, and in the next
instant, the defendant could also be guilty of being in
possession of a ‘stolen’ firearm”-runs
contrary to the plain language of the statute pursuant to
which the jury convicted Richardson. (Doc. 26 at 2-3).
United States’, in response, adeptly synthesized the
evidence of Richardson’s crime, which Richardson
largely did not contest at trial.
The unrefuted testimony was that the defendant burglarized
the barn and two sheds on the Hatchett’s family farm in
the early morning hours of December 19, 2017. While compiling
items to take, Richardson moved two firearms and ammunition
around the property. Before leaving the property, Richardson
was confronted by Hatchett and his two sons who held
Richardson at gunpoint while deputies were in route to the
farm. Richardson was eventually apprehended and arrested.
Richardson admitted to a detective on that date to attempting
to take the property including the firearms. Items that did
not belong to the Hatchett’s was found on the property
along with an identification card that belong to Richardson.
Ten days later, Richardson was interviewed by a special agent
and admitted to moving the Hatchett’s property,
including the firearms, around the barn and sheds but did not
know what he intended to do with the property. There was a
stipulation that the firearms were in and affecting
(Doc. 28 at 2).
February 21, 2018, the grand jury indicted Dusten Andrew
Richardson on a single count. (Doc. 1). The indictment
alleged Richardson knowingly received, possessed, concealed,
and stored two stolen firearms, a Marlin rifle and a Rossi
shotgun. (Id.) The statute under which the grand
jury indicted Richardson was 18 U.S.C. § 922(j). The
issue Richardson raises in his motion for new trial came up
early, when Richard filed a motion for Bill of Particulars.
(Doc. 13). There, Richardson’s counsel requested
“details in order to determine whether to file a Motion
to Dismiss . . . .” (Doc. 13 at 3). Magistrate Judge P.
Bradley Murray denied Richardson’s motion because it
failed to fall within the Eleventh Circuit’s standard
required for a Bill of Particulars. (Doc. 16; United
States v. Davis, 854 F.3d 1276, 1293 (11th Cir.) (noting
“a defendant is not entitled to a bill of particulars
where the information sought has already been provided by
other sources, such as the indictment and discovery”)).
began and ended on April 30. After a short trial, with even
shorter jury deliberations, Richardson was convicted. Before
the defense recessed, without putting forth any evidence,
Richardson moved for judgment of acquittal, which the Court
statute under which Richardson was indicted and convicted, 18
U.S.C. § 922(j), provides that
It shall be unlawful for any person to receive, possess,
conceal, store, barter, sell, or dispose of any stolen
firearm or stolen ammunition, or pledge or accept as security
for a loan any stolen firearm or stolen ammunition, which is
moving as, which is a part of, which constitutes, or which
has been shipped or transported in, interstate or foreign
commerce, either before or after it was stolen, knowing or
having reasonable cause to believe that the firearm or
ammunition was stolen.
Because Richardson’s motion is predicated on two rules,
the Court applies two standards.
Motion for ...