United States v. Shaw
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
701 F.2d 367 (1983)
The United States government (plaintiff) prosecuted Ronald Glen Shaw (defendant) for the first-degree murder of Terrell Johnson, a child, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1111. Terrell was shot while riding in a car with his mother, Linda Johnson, and her fiancé Kenneth Brinkley. At trial, Shaw testified that on Christmas night he drove to the Old Trace rest area along a deserted highway to hunt deer from his pickup truck with an illegal rifle. After shooting a deer, Shaw left to retrieve its body, heard a car approach, slipped, fell, and dropped his rifle, which accidentally discharged, fatally wounding Terrell. Brinkley and Johnson testified that although they immediately left the scene of Terrell's shooting to seek medical care for the boy, they were sure the shooting did not take place at Old Trace, but at the Ballard Creek rest area, near the site of Brinkley's recent truck accident. A couple named Avery testified that earlier on Christmas night they passed a pickup truck like Shaw's parked at Ballard Creek, and saw a man aiming a rifle through the truck's window. A park ranger testified that he saw a truck like Shaw's parked at Ballard Creek on the nights of December 22 and December 23. Police testified that the number of bullets found did not corroborate Shaw's deer-hunting story, that a "mashed down area" showed signs of having been used by someone lying in wait to shoot at a passing car, and that Shaw had changed his story several times. The jury convicted Shaw, who appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, contending that the government failed to prove that the fatal shooting was premeditated.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 725,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 725,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.