483 F.2d 738 (4th Cir. 1973), 73-1171, United States v. Inman

Docket Nº:73-1171.
Citation:483 F.2d 738
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. William Levern INMAN, Appellant.
Case Date:August 29, 1973
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Page 738

483 F.2d 738 (4th Cir. 1973)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,


William Levern INMAN, Appellant.

No. 73-1171.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Aug. 29, 1973

Argued June 5, 1973.

Page 739

Richard W. Hudgins, Warwick, Va. [Court-appointed], Alvin B. Fox, Newport News, Va. (Hudgins & Neale, Newport News, Va., on brief), for appellant.

James A. Oast, Jr., Asst. U. S. Atty. (Brian P. Gettings, U. S. Atty., on brief), for appellee.

Before HAYNSWORTH, Chief Judge, WINTER, Circuit Judge, and KNAPP, District Judge.


Convicted of aiding and abetting armed robbery of a federally insured bank and sentenced to a term of twenty-five years, defendant appeals. Four grounds of reversal are urged: (1) the district court abused its discretion in denying a motion for continuance for the purpose of changing counsel; (2) the district court erroneously admitted evidence that defendant participated in other crimes; (3) the district court erroneously instructed the jury concerning the presumption which arises from possession of recently stolen property; and (4) the evidence was legally insufficient to establish defendant's guilt.

We find no merit in any of defendant's contentions, and so we affirm the district court's judgment. Only defendant's contention with regard to the motion for continuance warrants further discussion.


Defendant was arrested September 6, 1972 and indicted on October 10. Ten days after indictment, at defendant's request and upon a showing of his indigency, counsel was appointed to represent him. At this time, defendant's trial was set for December 18, 1972.

On December 11, 1972, defendant's mother employed private counsel to represent her son. On the 12th, retained counsel communicated the fact of employment to the district court and suggested the need for a continuance; and on the same day the prosecutor and appointed counsel met with the district judge who informed them that appointed counsel should continue to represent defendant and that no continuance would be granted.

Defendant, on December 14, instructed appointed counsel to resign and, on December 15, this fact was communicated to the district court.

A formal request for a continuance was not made until the morning of trial. Then, retained counsel formally moved for a continuance because (1) he needed time to prepare defendant's defense, and (2) he had another trial before another court scheduled for the same day. The district court denied the motion, stating that retained counsel was welcome to participate in the trial but that the motion could not be granted because jurors and witnesses had already been...

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