Huddleston v. United States
United States Supreme Court
485 U.S. 681 (1988)
Huddleston (defendant) was charged with possession of stolen property and selling stolen goods—charges arising out of a shipment of stolen video cassette tapes. The material issue at trial was whether Huddleston knew the tapes were stolen. The prosecution sought to introduce evidence of two similar acts under Rule 404(b). The first such evidence was testimony that Huddleston sold a large quantity of new televisions for $28 each; the other was testimony that Huddleston was arrested one month after the cassette tape theft for offering to sell $20,000 of appliances to an undercover FBI agent for $8,000. Huddleston could not produce a bill of sale for any of the goods and testified that he acquired the tapes, televisions, and appliances from Leroy Westby. The trial court allowed the admission of the similar prior acts and Huddleston was convicted of possession of stolen property. Huddleston appealed
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)
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