U.S. v. Colson, No. 80-7744

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore HILL, VANCE and HATCHETT; JAMES C. HILL
Citation662 F.2d 1389
Decision Date07 December 1981
Docket NumberNo. 80-7744
Parties9 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 728 UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jack Lee COLSON, Delton C. Copeland, Defendants-Appellants. Non-Argument Calendar.

Page 1389

662 F.2d 1389
9 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 728
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Jack Lee COLSON, Delton C. Copeland, Defendants-Appellants.
No. 80-7744
Non-Argument Calendar.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eleventh Circuit.
Dec. 7, 1981.

Page 1390

Garland, Nuckolls, Kadish, Martin & Catts, Austin E. Catts, Atlanta, Ga., for defendants-appellants.

Thomas M. Flournoy, Jr., Columbus, Ga., for Copeland.

Samuel A. Wilson, Asst. U. S. Atty., Macon, Ga., for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

Page 1391

Before HILL, VANCE and HATCHETT, Circuit Judges.

JAMES C. HILL, Circuit Judge:

Appellants Delton E. Copeland and Jack L. Colson, former members of the Columbus, Georgia Police Department Vice Squad, were indicted on two counts of conspiracy to distribute various controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846. Count I charged a conspiracy to distribute substances for which a maximum five year penalty applied, while Count II related to substances carrying a fifteen year maximum. Appellant Copeland was found guilty on both counts and sentenced to eight years. The jury acquitted Appellant Colson on Count I but convicted him on Count II. Colson received a four year sentence.

We affirm the appellants' convictions.

Appellant Copeland

Appellant Copeland appeals the trial court's denial of his motion for a bill of particulars seeking, inter alia, the identities and addresses of unindicted co-conspirators, dates and locations of alleged acts in furtherance of the conspiracy, and detailed information relating to quantities of controlled substances and their chain of custody, if in existence. The purpose of a bill of particulars is to inform the defendant of the charge in sufficient detail to enable adequate defense preparation and to minimize surprise at trial. United States v. Diecidue, 603 F.2d 535, 563 (5th Cir. 1979), cert. denied sub nom. Antone v. United States and Gispert v. United States, 445 U.S. 946, 100 S.Ct. 1345, 63 L.Ed.2d 781 (1980), and Miller v. United States, 446 U.S. 912, 100 S.Ct. 1842, 64 L.Ed.2d 266 (1980); United States v. Mackey, 551 F.2d 967, 970 (5th Cir. 1977); United States v. Sherriff, 546 F.2d 604, 606 (5th Cir. 1977). Grant or denial of such a motion lies within the sound discretion of the trial court and may be challenged only for abuse of that discretion. Proof of abuse requires a showing of actual surprise at trial and prejudice to the defendant's substantial rights by the denial. United States v. Wilson, 647 F.2d 534, 536 (5th Cir. 1981); United States v. Diecidue, 603 F.2d at 563.

Appellant Copeland has failed to demonstrate surprise or prejudice of any kind. He argues that the government's failure to provide the identity of unindicted co-conspirators and the dates and locations of conduct in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy impaired his ability to assert alibi defenses and to conduct out of court investigations of the unindicted co-conspirators. In prior conspiracy cases, however, this court has refused to find prejudice where the government had proved overt acts not stated in the indictment or in a bill of particulars. See United States v. Diecidue, 603 F.2d at 563 (citing United States v. Johnson, 575 F.2d 1347 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 440 U.S. 907, 99 S.Ct. 1213, 59 L.Ed.2d 454 (1979)). Furthermore, the record in this case refutes Copeland's claim of surprise or prejudice. Copeland not only had knowledge of the identity of the unindicted co-conspirators whom the government would call as witnesses but at trial impeached several of the government witnesses. In essence, appellant complains not of any harm but of denial of a form of discovery. As the trial judge correctly noted, however, generalized discovery is not a proper purpose in seeking a bill of particulars. United States v. Davis, 582 F.2d 947, 951 (5th Cir. 1978). We therefore find no abuse of discretion and no reversible error in denial of the motion for a bill of particulars.

Copeland also asserts that the trial judge erred in denying his motion for a list of government witnesses. We must reject his contention. As with a motion for a bill of particulars, requiring production of a list of the government's witnesses is a matter of judicial...

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107 practice notes
  • Boles v. United States, CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:18-00073-WS-N
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Alabama
    • 2 Marzo 2021
    ...of a single conspiracy in several counts, only one sentence for a single conspiracy may bePage 17 imposed." United States v. Colson, 662 F.2d 1389, 1392 (11th Cir. 1981). This is because "[t]he single agreement is the prohibited conspiracy, and however diverse its objects it violates but a ......
  • U.S. v. Cole, No. 82-5455
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 19 Marzo 1985
    ...a district court is vested with broad discretion in deciding whether a bill of particulars should be granted. United States v. Colson, 662 F.2d 1389, 1391 (11th Cir.1981); United States v. Wilson, 647 F.2d 534, 536 (5th Cir.1981); Roberson v. United States, 249 F.2d 737, 739 (5th Cir.1957).......
  • U.S. v. Higgs, Nos. 83-5361
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 5 Agosto 1983
    ...Fischel, 686 F.2d 1082, 1090-91 (5th Cir.1982); United States v. Rosales, 680 F.2d 1304, 1305 (10th Cir.1981); United States v. Colson, 662 F.2d 1389, 1391-92 (11th Cir.1981); United States v. Kendricks, 623 F.2d 1165, 1168 (6th Cir.1980); United States v. John Bernard Indus., 589 F.2d 1353......
  • U.S. v. Grace, No. 06-30192.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 15 Mayo 2008
    ...case.") (internal quotation marks omitted); United States v. Rosales, 680 F.2d 1304, 1305 (10th Cir.1981); United States v. Colson, 662 F.2d 1389, 1391 (11th Cir.1981); United States v. Kendricks, 623 F.2d 1165, 1168 (6th Cir.1980) (per curiam). Finally, some have grounded the authority in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
107 cases
  • Boles v. United States, CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:18-00073-WS-N
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Alabama
    • 2 Marzo 2021
    ...of a single conspiracy in several counts, only one sentence for a single conspiracy may bePage 17 imposed." United States v. Colson, 662 F.2d 1389, 1392 (11th Cir. 1981). This is because "[t]he single agreement is the prohibited conspiracy, and however diverse its objects it violates but a ......
  • U.S. v. Cole, No. 82-5455
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 19 Marzo 1985
    ...a district court is vested with broad discretion in deciding whether a bill of particulars should be granted. United States v. Colson, 662 F.2d 1389, 1391 (11th Cir.1981); United States v. Wilson, 647 F.2d 534, 536 (5th Cir.1981); Roberson v. United States, 249 F.2d 737, 739 (5th Cir.1957).......
  • U.S. v. Higgs, Nos. 83-5361
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 5 Agosto 1983
    ...Fischel, 686 F.2d 1082, 1090-91 (5th Cir.1982); United States v. Rosales, 680 F.2d 1304, 1305 (10th Cir.1981); United States v. Colson, 662 F.2d 1389, 1391-92 (11th Cir.1981); United States v. Kendricks, 623 F.2d 1165, 1168 (6th Cir.1980); United States v. John Bernard Indus., 589 F.2d 1353......
  • U.S. v. Grace, No. 06-30192.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 15 Mayo 2008
    ...case.") (internal quotation marks omitted); United States v. Rosales, 680 F.2d 1304, 1305 (10th Cir.1981); United States v. Colson, 662 F.2d 1389, 1391 (11th Cir.1981); United States v. Kendricks, 623 F.2d 1165, 1168 (6th Cir.1980) (per curiam). Finally, some have grounded the authority in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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