United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division
CHARLES C. LOVELL, SENIOR UNTTED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is "Defendant Arkinson's Post-Trial Motion
for Acquittal Under Rule 29(c)." (Doc. 148). The United
States opposes the motion. The Court has reviewed the record
and is prepared to rule.
Grand Jury charged Defendant Arkinson with conspiracy to
commit robbery affecting commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1951(a) (Count I), with robbery affecting commerce in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) (Count II) and with
possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(2) (Count III).
October 3, 2018, at the close of the government's
evidence, Defendant Arkinson made a Rule 29 Motion for
Judgment of Acquittal, which was denied. Defendant Arkinson
renewed his motion after all the parties had rested, later
that day, and the Court denied the renewed motion. On October
4, 2018, a unanimous jury found Defendant Arkinson guilty of
all three counts charged in the Indictment. Now before the
Court is Defendant's timely-filed renewed Motion for
Judgment of Acquittal, which is again opposed by the
familiar standard for deciding a motion for acquittal, as
articulated in Jackson v. Virginia, requires this
Court to determine whether, "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." 443
U.S. 307, 319 (1979)(emphasis in original). In making this
determination, this Court neither resolves credibility issues
nor weighs the evidence, as those are questions for the jury.
United States v. Burns, 701 F.2d 840, 842
(9th Cir. 1983).
Arkinson's theory at trial was that he did not rob the
victim at gunpoint because it was the government's key
witness, Curtis Alexander, who entered the home of the victim
armed with a weapon.
Arkinson now argues that the Court should grant his renewed
motion for acquittal because the victims of the robbery
(Patrick Lovett and Vickie Anderson) were unable to
consistently identify him as the male robber and actually
identified Mr. Alexander as the male robber. (Doc. 149 at 2).
Defendant Arkinson also argues that the jury should have
discounted Mr. Alexander's testimony because it was
contradicted by the testimony of another government witness,
Annie Banks. (Doc. 149 at 3). Defendant Arkinson argues that
the jury's verdict should be set aside because the jurors
relied on narratives that impeached one another, citing
United States v. Whitson, 587 F.2d 948, 953
(9th Cir. 1978).
the United States admits that Mr. Lovett's identification
of Defendant Arkinson at trial was equivocal, (Doc. 154 at
4), it disputes Defendant Arkinson's claim that Mr.
Alexander was identified as the male robber at trial.
United States also argues that Defendant Arkinson's
reliance on Whitson to support his argument that the
jury cannot use narratives that impeach one another in
deciding a defendant's guilt or innocence because this
case is distinguishable from Whitson.
Arkinson's reliance on Whitson is misplaced. The
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed
the judgment in Whitson because the trial court
erred by allowing "the prosecution to use illegally
obtained evidence for impeachment on a matter not opened by
the defendant." 587 F.2d at 952. Defendant Arkinson has
not demonstrated that the ...