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United States v. Nelson

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
419 F.2d 1237 (1969)


Facts

The United States (plaintiff) charged Roy Arthur Nelson (defendant) as a principal in a bank robbery. His co-defendant, Frank Brewton, was found incompetent to stand trial. The evidence showed Brewton entered the bank while a second man waited in the getaway car. Police chased the car and it crashed after Nelson was observed jumping out of the driver's seat. Police apprehended Nelson and Brewton and found cash in their pockets. Brewton's cash carried bank markings but Nelson's cash did not. The jury convicted Nelson as a principal, and Nelson appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Nelson contended the government's circumstantial evidence did not prove he drove the getaway car or he knew the bank was being robbed, and therefore left open the possibility that his involvement in the car crash could be innocently explained.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Browning, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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