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United States v. Moore

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

February 11, 2013, Filed

No. 11-30877


 [*643]  W. EUGENE DAVIS, Circuit Judge:

Defendants Matthew Dean Moore and Melvin Williams are former New Orleans Police Officers appealing their convictions and sentences  [**2] arising from an incident that resulted in the death of Raymond Robair. Following a jury trial, Williams was convicted of causing the death of Robair while depriving him of his civil rights, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242 (Count 1). Williams and Moore were convicted of aiding and abetting obstruction of justice by filing a false police report, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 (Count 2). Moore was convicted of making a false statement to the FBI, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (Count 3). Both defendants argue that the evidence was insufficient to sustain their convictions and challenge their respective sentences. We affirm.

The following factual summary is presented in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict convicting the defendants on all counts.

On July 30, 2005, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Raymond Robair was on Dumaine Street in New Orleans. A patrol car driven by New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officer Williams pulled over to the curb near Robair. Williams had been employed by the NOPD since 1994. Officer Moore, who was in the passenger seat, was a recruit who had graduated from the police academy several months earlier and was under the supervision of Williams, his  [**3] field training officer.

When the patrol car stopped, Robair turned to go the opposite way. Moore got out of the patrol car, grabbed Robair, threw him to the ground, got on top of him and tried to handcuff him. Williams also got out of the car, and helped Moore handcuff Robair.

Although the testimony was not entirely consistent, four neighborhood witnesses testified that while Robair was on the ground with Moore on top of him, Williams kicked Robair in the torso. Robair screamed. Williams then struck Robair across the legs and torso with his metal police baton while Moore held Robair. Robair did not resist and Moore did nothing to stop Williams. Williams and Moore then put Robair into the back of the patrol car and drove away.

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708 F.3d 639 *; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 2874 **; 2013 WL 512342


Subsequent History: Related proceeding at Mitchell v. City of New Orleans, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58112 (E.D. La., May 2, 2016)

Prior History:  [**1] Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

United States v. Moore, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55817 (E.D. La., May 23, 2011)

Disposition: AFFIRMED.


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Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Sufficiency of Evidence, Substantial Evidence, Appeals, Clear Error Review, De Novo Review, Sentencing, Sentencing Guidelines, General Overview, Conclusions of Law, Homicide, Manslaughter & Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, Criminal Offenses, Crimes Against Persons, Elements, Involuntary Manslaughter, Acts & Mental States, Obstruction of Administration of Justice, Accessories, Aiding & Abetting, Fraud Against the Government, False Statements, Adjustments & Enhancements, Obstruction of Justice, Plain Error, Definition of Plain Error, Plain Error