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SC Supreme Court: No Mid-Trial Appeal for the State

State v. David Ledford (No. 2016-000791) During the charge conference in Mr. Ledford’s trial for inflicting great bodily injury upon a child, there was a dispute between the parties regarding the proper jury instructions. Ledford’s proposed jury instruction included a requirement that he acted “willfully” in order for the jury to convict. Ledford explained his requested jury

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Fourth Circuit Affirms Crooked Cop’s Conviction in WV

United States v. Mark Cowden (No. 17-4046) Cowden, a former lieutenant with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office in West Virginia, was charged with several federal crimes in connection with his assault on Ryan Hamrick. Evidence at trial showed that during a traffic stop, Ryan Hamrick resisted another officer’s attempt to place him under arrest. In

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Fourth Circuit: NC Voluntary Manslaughter is a Violent Felony Per the ACCA

United States v. Antoine Darrell Smith (No. 17-4015) Smith pled guilty to one count of PWID cocaine, and one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Smith’s PSI indicated that he was subject to enhanced penalties under the ACCA, due in part to his North Carolina conviction for voluntary manslaughter. Smith argued that

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Fourth Circuit: Peer-to-Peer File Sharing is “Distribution” of Child Pornography per 18 USC §2252A

United States v. Dean Stitz (No. 16-4813) The defendant was convicted for distributing child pornography after making files available for download on a peer-to-peer file sharing network. On appeal, he argues that the district court erred in finding a factual basis for his guilty plea, because he lacked specific intent to distribute child pornography. The

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SC Supreme Court: Specific Intent to Kill is an Element of Attempted Murder

State v. King (Case No. 2015-001278) In this case, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to expand on the Court of Appeals’ analysis below. The Court of Appeals previously reversed King’s attempted murder conviction based on the trial court’s erroneous instruction that attempted murder does not require a specific intent to kill. The Supreme Court notes

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