September 16, 2014

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 1/19/11

The Tenth Circuit on Wednesday issued one published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

Published

In United States v. King, the Court affirmed the district court’s conviction. Petitioner was convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime; he claims that the district court erred in convicting him of the firearms count as “the government presented insufficient evidence to show either that he ‘possessed’ the firearm or that he did so ‘in furtherance’ of a drug-trafficking crime.” The Court, however, found that Petitioner’s admission to possession and the corroborating evidence to support it provides sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable jury to find that Petitioner constructively possessed the firearm. Additionally, the fact that Petitioner does not appeal his conviction for possession with intent to distribute and that the loaded weapon was located with the marijuana to make it easily defensible provides sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that possession of the firearm was in furtherance or a drug trafficking crime.

Unpublished

United States v. Sauceda

Carroll v. Los Alamos Nat’l Security

United States v. Duran

Senate Bill Would Eliminate Jefferson County Judgeship, Add One to Western Slope

Law Week Colorado reports that a bill introduced in the Colorado Senate last week would add a district judgeship in the western slope’s Seventh Judicial District while eliminating a vacant district judgeship in the First Judicial District, which serves Jefferson and Gilpin counties. The bill received its first hearing on Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The First Judicial District received funding for three new district judgeships in 2007, but two of those remained unfilled due to space constraints. If SB11-028 were to pass, one of these unfilled judgeships would move to the Seventh Judicial District, which serves Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties.

The change would be budget-neutral and the bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Gail Schwartz and Republican Rep. Don Coram, who represent legislative districts that lie within the Seventh Judicial District.

The judge-shift was requested by the Colorado Judicial Department and would likely be the first time a Colorado state judgeship has been transferred from one district to another. The First Judicial District court management has given its blessing to relinquishing the judgeship.

Former Colorado Secretary of State Buescher Joins AG’s Office

As reported by Law Week Colorado, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers appointed Bernie Buescher as the deputy attorney general overseeing the office’s State Services Section. Buescher was Colorado’s Secretary of State for two years but lost his reelection bid last year to Scott Gessler. Buescher’s last day as Secretary of State was January 11, 2011.

Governor Bill Ritter appointed Buescher as Secretary of State in 2008 after failing to be reelected as a state representative from Grand Junction. He has also held a number of public and private sector jobs, including president of West Star Aviation and executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance under Governor Roy Romer. Buescher graduated from the University of Colorado Law School in 1974 and has also practiced law in Grand Junction.

Buescher replaces Monica Marquez as head of the State Services Section. Marquez was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in December.

The State Services Section provides legal advice and representation for numerous Colorado state agencies, including the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general, and the judicial branch of Colorado government. The section handles complex constitutional litigation as well as the defense of voter-approved constitutional and statutory provisions. The State Services Section also represents the State Board of Education and the state’s public college and universities.

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 1/18/11

The Tenth Circuit on Monday issued two published opinions and eight unpublished opinions.

Published

In United States v. Polly, the Court affirmed the district court’s decision and sentence. Police discovered powder cocaine on Petitioner’s person and in his vehicle, and after the court denied his motion to suppress the evidence, he pled guilty. Petitioner claims the district court erred by denying his motion. The Court determined that the stop of Petitioner’s vehicle was justified by his commission of two traffic offenses, and the scope of the stop was reasonable. Additionally, Petitioner consented to the search of his person, and the search of his vehicle was appropriate under the vehicle exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.

In United States v. Wilkinson, the Court affirmed the district court’s decision. Petitioner was convicted for possession with intent to distribute a mixture containing crack cocaine. Petitioner claims the trial court erred by not granting his motion to suppress the drugs as fruit of an illegal stop. The Court, however, determined that the stop was proper under the “collective knowledge” doctrine. A suspect may be detained legally by an officer when supported by information possessed by a fellow officer who requests the detention; the requesting officer need not communicate the information to the detaining officer. The doctrine applies to traffic stops for misdemeanors as well as stops for felonies.

Unpublished

Norman v. Primer

United States v. Ellis

United States v. Del Cid-Rendon

United States v. Chavez-Marquez

Bedolla-Izazaga v. United States

United States v. Payne

United States v. Venzor-Reveles

United States v. Minton