Federal Criminal Jury Verdicts

Most cases, even cases I handle, are typically disposed of without trial. No lawyer wins every trial and any lawyer that tells you otherwise is selling snake oil. I am not going to share with you only the wins, which in my profession, is anything that is not a conviction. The facts of each case are different, and the victories posted here speak as much about the effort expended as the facts of those cases. I list only federal criminal cases because fewer lawyers practice in federal court and typically, though not always, a defendant charged in federal court faces much more time in prison if convicted. So the stakes are higher. This list is not all inclusive.

Weapons Charges

United States of America v. R.S. , Western District of North Carolina, Bryson City Division (2007). This defendant was charged with firing off a shotgun during a fight and was facing 10 years in a federal prison under 18 U.S.C. §924(c). He went to trial and the jury found him not guilty.

United States of America v. D.L. , Western District of North Carolina, Bryson City Division (2008). This defendant was charged with using a knife during a fight. He went to trial and the jury found him not guilty.

United States of America v. B.W. , Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division (2014). This defendant was accused of stealing a pistol from a pawn shop and possessing a stolen pistol. Despite law enforcement finding him within half hour of the crime being reported and finding the pistol outside that residence, the facts were such that, at trial, the jury hung. This case may be retried.

Crimes On Federal Lands

United States of America v. S.D. , Western District of North Carolina, Bryson City Division (2008). This defendant ran from the U.S. Forest Service Cops on his motorcycle and was eventually caught. He went to trial, and despite my best efforts, he was found guilty. At sentencing, however, though facing a year in jail, he got five months.

While Collar Crimes

United States of America v. C.S. , Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division (2010). This defendant was accused of abusing the postal service's version of workers' compensation. He went to trial and the jury found him not guilty of one charge and guilty of four others. However, in a post-trial proceeding, I got the judge to throw out two of the remaining four guilty verdicts, and he received a probationary sentence and did not see one day in jail.

Sex Crimes

United States of America v. H.S. , Western District of North Carolina, Bryson City Division (2012). This defendant was charged with several sex crimes against his son. He was adamant that he was innocent, though the Government was able to get a confession out of him. He faced 30 years apiece on just the first two counts. At his first trial, the jury found him not guilty on Count 1 and hung on the other six counts.

United States of America v. H.S. , Western District of North Carolina, Bryson City Division (2013). This was the second trial of H.S. At trial, the jury indicated it would hang again. The judge, upon my motion to dismiss the case at the close of all the evidence, did so, calling the prosecution a search for results, not justice. H.S. is a free man today, and I believe, completely innocent of the vile charges brought against him. This case is, to date, my greatest victory and proudest moment as a lawyer.

Federal Drug Charges

United States of America v. M.R. , Western District of North Carolina, Bryson City Division (2014). This defendant was accused of trafficking in prescription medications. Before trial, all the evidence against her was thrown out of court, leading to a complete dismissal of her charges. The court threw out all of the evidence because law enforcement's actions were so bad and violated the defendant's constitutional rights to such an extent, that to permit the evidence to be used against them would constitute a travesty of justice. This defendant is now free.

United States of America v. R.A. , Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division (2011). This defendant was charged with selling drugs and faced life in prison. Though ultimately found guilty by a jury after almost seven hours of deliberation, I was able to get his sentence reduced from life, to 10 years, and after his appeal was partially successful as to his sentence, to six years. So though the trial was lost, his sentence went from life to six years.