United States v. Hale, No. 15-4642 (4th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed his conviction and sentence for charges related to his involvement in a retail theft scheme. The Fourth Circuit affirmed, holding that the evidence was sufficient to justify the district court's decision to give the jury a willful blindness instruction and to support the jury's finding that defendant knew the property at issue was stolen. In this case, there was ample evidence from which to find that defendant subjectively believed that there was a high probability that the goods he was buying and selling were stolen. The court rejected defendant's evidentiary challenges and challenges to the jury instructions; held that the evidence was sufficient to conclude that an individual who worked for defendant qualified as an employee, rather than a contractor; and rejected defendant's contention that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct during his closing argument.