464 F.2d 160 (5th Cir. 1972), 71-2251, United States v. Young

Docket Nº:71-2251 [*]
Citation:464 F.2d 160
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. James Earl YOUNG, Sr., Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:July 07, 1972
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 160

464 F.2d 160 (5th Cir. 1972)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

James Earl YOUNG, Sr., Defendant-Appellant.

No. 71-2251 [*]

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

July 7, 1972

Page 161

Jack H. Young, Jackson, Miss. (Court appointed), for defendant-appellant.

Robert E. Hauberg, U. S. Atty., Daniel E. Lynn, James B. Tucker, Asst. U.S. Attys., Jackson, Miss., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before WISDOM, GODBOLD, and RONEY, Circuit Judges.

WISDOM, Circuit Judge:

James Earl Young, Sr. was convicted by a jury of assaulting a federal officer in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 111 1 and damaging property of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1361. 2 We vacate both judgments of conviction.

The convictions arose from the events surrounding Young's arrest by the FBI for certain other offenses against the United States. 3 On September 2, 1970, at approximately 1:00 P.M., Young was driving his 1965 Oldsmobile in an easterly direction in the south lane of traffic on Monument Street in Jackson, Mississippi. There were three passengers in the defendant's car. Special Agents William R. Stringer and William H. Garvie of the FBI were trailing Young's car in a government car with the intention of arresting him.

Agent Stringer, driving the Government's car, pulled alongside Young's car. Agent Garvie, who was seated on the passenger side of the front seat, made an effort to display his badge and credentials to Young while both Young's car and the Government car continued in motion, at speeds estimated from 15 to 30 miles per hour. Then the Government car abruptly pulled in front of Young's car; there was conflicting testimony as to whether Young's car had been brought to a stop before Agent Stringer cut in front to prevent further forward motion. The Government car

Page 162

was positioned diagonally in front of Young's car with the transmission in the "park" position and the right side of the car at an angle to the front of Young's car. As Agent Garvie stepped out of the Government car and started toward Young, Young suddenly drove his car forward and ran into the right rear door of the Government car, striking the right front door and damaging both doors of the Government car. Agent Garvie was forced to jump back into the car to keep from being run over.

The Government took the position that Young was deliberately trying to run over Agent Garvie, and that he had damaged Government property in the course of committing the assault on Garvie. Young admitted that his car struck the Government car, but denied that the Government car or his own car had come to a complete stop. He alleged that he had no intention of running over Agent Garvie or of striking the Government car. Young's version of the facts was that he did not realize that the men who attempted to impede his progress on Monument Street were law enforcement officers trying to arrest him. He urged that the collision with the Government car occurred when he attempted to swivel his car sharply and continue on his way-"simply a non-violent attempt to prevent two strange white men from stopping his path of travel." 4

The trial court's charge to the jury, in pertinent part, read as follows:

. . . It is completely unimportant whether this defendant did or did not know that these men were FBI agents on such occasion. He didn't have to know that. Whether he knew it or not if he did what the government contends that he did whether he knew that they were agents at the time or not would make no difference as to whether he is guilty or innocent.

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An intentional or unlawful threat or attempt to commit injury upon the person of another when coupled with an apparent present ability so to do and an intentional display of...

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