Ruling in the Criminal Case of US v. Littlewind
In US v. Littlewind, No. 08-4000, the defendant was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence.
As the court of appeals wrote: "The evidence at trial, taken in the light most favorable to the verdict, showed the following facts. During the two years preceding the incident precipitating this case, Sylvester Littlewind and Budene Eback shared a residence and carried on a romantic relationship. The relationship was characterized by the prodigious consumption of alcohol, frequent verbal altercations, and repeated physical violence."
Defendant challenged both the district court's decision to admit evidence of prior bad acts, and the sufficiency of the evidence adduced at trial to convict him.
However, the court of appeals affirmed the conviction on the grounds that: 1) evidence of past crimes was probative of defendant's intent to commit the offenses at issue; 2) there was more than adequate evidence in the record to support a jury finding that the victim suffered a gunshot wound; and 3) a reasonable jury could have rationally hypothesized that defendant intended to assault the victim with a gun.
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