326 F.3d 1143 (10th Cir. 2003), 02-8035, U.S. v. Brown

Docket Nº:02-8035
Citation:326 F.3d 1143
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDWARD J. BROWN, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:April 15, 2003
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 1143

326 F.3d 1143 (10th Cir. 2003)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

EDWARD J. BROWN, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 02-8035

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

April 15, 2003

Page 1144

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming, D.C. No. 01-CR-31-J.

COUNSEL

Matthew H. Mead, United States Attorney, David A. Kubichek, Assistant United States Attorney, Casper, Wyoming, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

James P. Castberg, Sheridan, Wyoming, for Defendant-Appellant.

Before KELLY, McKAY, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.

MURPHY, Circuit Judge.

After examining the briefs and appellate record, this panel has determined unanimously to grant the parties' request for a decision on the briefs without oral argument. Fed. R. App. P. 34(f); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). The case is, therefore, ordered submitted without oral argument.

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendant Edward J. Brown ("Brown") was indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846; one count of using a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1); and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g), 924(a)(2). Pursuant to a conditional plea agreement, Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine and use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense. The district court sentenced Brown to consecutive terms of 121 months on the former count and 60 months on the latter count. The district court also ordered a $1,000 fine and five years of supervised release.

Brown argues on appeal that he was deprived of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment guarantees of due process under the Page 1145

United States Constitution when the district court granted the government's motion in limine to exclude evidence of Brown's mental condition from consideration by the jury. Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1291, this court affirms, concluding that although psychological or psychiatric evidence negating specific intent may be admissible, Brown relied upon an impermissible legal theory for admitting the evidence and failed to identify a relationship between the proposed testimony and his mens rea.

II. BACKGROUND

On March 22, 2001, Brown was indicted on three counts for his participation in a multi-state methamphetamine operation. At arraignment, Brown pleaded not guilty to the three charges.

Subsequent to entering his pleas, Brown filed a motion to obtain a psychological examination by Dr. Fred Lindberg for the purpose of preparing a defense. The district court granted the motion. On July 30, 2001, Brown submitted notice in accordance with Fed. R. Crim. P. 12.2(a) that he intended to rely upon insanity as a defense to all charges. In addition, Brown submitted notice in accordance with Fed. R. Crim. P. 12.2(b) that he intended to "present expert testimony relating to a mental disease or defect or other mental condition of [Brown] bearing upon issue of [his] guilt."

Thereafter, the government sought an order to compel Brown to submit to a psychiatric and medical examination conducted by the Bureau of Prisons. The district court granted the government's motion and ordered Brown to be examined for purposes of determining competency and legal sanity. Brown was then rearraigned and he entered pleas of not guilty by reason of mental illness or disease to the charges.

On December 12, 2001, the district court held a competency hearing. At the hearing, Dr. Lindberg testified that Brown suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and chemical dependency. Dr. Lindberg also testified that, as a result of his condition, Brown did not have the capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law. He also stated that at the time of his arrest, Brown did not have the...

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