Thursday, April 14, 2016

State v. Randle

Opinion handed down August 4, 2015
        After a conviction of second-degree assault, Anwar Randle appealed on the grounds that it was error not to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of third-degree assault.[1]  The Supreme Court of Missouri held that the circuit court erred in this respect and vacated the judgment.[2]

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

State v. Walter

Opinion handed down January 26, 2016
After shopping at multiple locations for items that could be used in making methamphetamine, Chadwick Leland Walter was arrested and charged with attempted manufacture of a controlled substance.[1]  In the closing argument of Walter's trial, the prosecuting attorney included in a slideshow, shown to the jury, a picture of Walter wearing orange with the word “GUILTY” placed over Walter's face in large red lettering.[2]  Walter appealed the trial court's denial of his motion for a new trial on the basis that the use of this altered photograph prevented a fair trial.[3]   On appeal, the Supreme Court of Missouri, finding prejudicial error, vacated the trial court's judgment and remanded for a new trial.[4]

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

United States v. Lemons

Opinion handed down June 16, 2015
Brandy Lemons was convicted of theft of government funds and making a false statement to the government in connection with the receipt of social security disability benefits for several years.[1]  Lemons was initially denied benefits but then eventually was granted social security disability benefits.[2]  After a few years of receiving these benefits, someone sent evidence to the Social Security Administration (“Administration”) that Lemons was capable of engaging, and in fact did engage, in activities that were inconsistent with the disability permitting Lemons to receive social security disability benefits.[3]  After an investigation by the Administration, Lemons was charged with two counts of making a false statement in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and three counts of theft of government funds in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641.[4]  Lemons was convicted of all three counts of theft of government funds and one count of making a false statement.[5]  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the conviction.[6]

Monday, April 11, 2016

Taylor v. Cottrell

Opinion handed down July 29, 2015
At the trial level, the testimony of Plaintiffs’ expert witness was excluded and summary judgment was entered in favor of Defendants on claims dependent upon the excluded testimony; the remaining claims were stayed.[1]  On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held the exclusion of Plaintiffs’ expert was error.[2]  The errors were reversed and the district court’s order granting summary judgment was vacated.