Childers v. Floyd

642 F.3d 953 (2011)

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Childers v. Floyd

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
642 F.3d 953 (2011)

Facts

Wyon Childers (defendant) was a county commissioner for Escambia County in Florida. In 2001, the county purchased a soccer complex that was owned by Joe Elliot. Childers and fellow county commissioner Willie Junior were charged with money laundering and bribery in connection with the county’s decision to purchase the complex. Elliot was also charged but was acquitted. Junior reached a plea agreement with the state in exchange for testimony against Childers and Elliot. The agreement provided that the state could revoke the agreement if it was found that Junior provided inaccurate or incomplete information. After Elliot’s acquittal, Junior supplemented his statements to the state. The state filed a notice of revocation seeking to revoke the plea agreement with Junior for not originally giving full information. The trial court did not permit the revocation. At Childers’s trial, Childers cross-examined Junior for 10 hours, including about the details of Junior’s plea agreement and about Junior’s supplemental statements to the state. The trial court, however, prevented Childers from questioning Junior about the Elliot acquittal or the notice of revocation. Childers argued to no avail that these details evidenced Junior’s motivation to embellish his earlier statements to the state. Childers was convicted, and the district court of appeal affirmed. Childers petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, which was denied, and he appealed the denial.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tjoflat, J.)

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