James Nichols and Warnken, LLC Win Big in the 4th Circuit
Who says you can’t win in the 4th Circuit?
In United States v. Moore, the Fourth Circuit concluded that when the false testimony is used by the Government to bar the defendant from presenting a viable defense, a new trial is required. The decision came down last Friday.
At trial, the Government preemptively sought to prevent Moore from arguing that another man, seen in possession of the vehicle days after the carjacking, had committed the crime. Citing the victim’s description of the carjacker’s dreadlocks, the Government excluded this potential suspect by showing that he did not have dreadlocks. The Government produced a booking photograph depicting the man with short hair and offered testimony from a narcotics detective, who claimed he had never seen the suspect with dreadlocks. Neither claim, however, was true.
After trial, Moore discovered that a software glitch had caused the booking photograph used at trial to reflect inaccurate information. In fact, the actual booking photograph depicted the individual with dreadlocks, just as the victim had described. The evidence also expressly contradicted the testimony offered by the narcotics detective. Despite this, the District Court denied Moore’s Motion for New Trial.
Undeterred, Moore filed an appeal, where this Firm argued that his conviction was manifestly unreliable because it rested on demonstrably false testimony and evidence. In a unanimous opinion, the Court of Appeals agreed and granted Moore the new trial he requested, concluding that the newly discovered evidence, if adduced at trial, created a substantial possibility that Moore would have been acquitted.
This marks the second 4th Circuit win in a row for Nichols and Warnken, LLC.