US v. Cox, No. 06-4237 (4th Cir. 2007)

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 06-4237 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, versus MARION COX, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Charlotte. Robert J. Conrad, Chief District Judge. (3:05-cr-00074-ALL) Submitted: February 15, 2007 Decided: February 20, 2007 Before NIEMEYER, KING, and DUNCAN, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Randolph Marshall Lee, LAW OFFICES OF RANDOLPH MARSHALL LEE, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant. Gretchen C.F. Shappert, United States Attorney, Charlotte, North Carolina; Amy E. Ray, Assistant United States Attorney, Asheville, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Marion Cox appeals from his conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. ยง 922(g)(1) (2000). On appeal, he contends that there was insufficient evidence to show that he possessed the firearm in question. We affirm. We have defined substantial evidence as evidence that a reasonable finder of fact could accept as adequate and sufficient to support a conclusion of a defendant s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 2005), United States v. Alerre, 430 F.3d 681, 693 (4th Cir. cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 1925 (2006). We consider circumstantial as well as direct evidence, and allow the government the benefit of all reasonable inferences from the facts proven to those sought to be established. United States v. Tresvant, 677 F.2d 1018, 1021 (4th Cir. 1982). different, reasonable If the evidence supports interpretations, interpretation to believe. the jury decides which United States v. Murphy, 35 F.3d 143, 148 (4th Cir. 1994). Because Cox stipulated to the other elements of the offense, the only contested issue at trial was whether he possessed the handgun. Possession may be actual, constructive, or joint. United States v. Gallimore, 247 F.3d 134, 136-37 (4th Cir. 2001). [T]o establish constructive possession, the government must produce evidence showing ownership, dominion or control over the contraband itself or the premises - 2 - or vehicle in which the contraband is concealed. United States v. Blue, 957 F.2d 106, 107 (4th Cir. 1992). entirely extrinsic on an In addition, while a conviction cannot rest uncorroborated corroborating proof extrajudicial need trustworthiness of the confession. only confession, tend to show the the See United States v. Norman, 415 F.3d 466, 470-71 (5th Cir. 2005) (holding that, once the confession is sufficiently corroborated, the confession as a whole is admissible, and some elements of the offense may be proven entirely on the basis of the confession), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 1087 (2006). Here, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government, the trial testimony showed that Officer Mozingo, responding to a call involving a firearm, arrived at 1121 Pamlico Street in Mecklenburg County. Cox was standing on the porch. He was waved down by Steve Mason and Officer Mozingo asked Cox to come down from the porch and wait by the Officer s car, which he did. Officer Mozingo then recovered from the porch a firearm in an unzipped bag within arm s reach of where Cox had been standing. After Officer Mozingo recovered the firearm, Cox fled the scene. When he was arrested, he apologized for pointing a gun at Mason. We find that the Government presented sufficient evidence to support the trustworthiness of Cox s admission to the police and that sufficient evidence supported Cox s conviction. affirm. Thus, we We dispense with oral argument, because the facts and - 3 - legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED - 4 -
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