United States v. Moreno Ornelas, No. 15-10510 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions for assault on a federal officer, use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm by an illegal alien. However, the court reversed defendant's convictions for attempted robbery of the officer's gun and attempted robbery of the officer's truck, and remanded.
The panel held that the district court erred by instructing the jury on the elements of attempted robbery under 18 U.S.C. 2112 by failing to instruct that defendant must have possessed the specific intent to steal. The obvious instructional error affected defendant's substantial rights and seriously undermined the fairness and integrity of the proceedings. However, the district court did not plainly err by failing to instruct that defendant must have formed such intent by the time he used force, not just by the time he tried to take the property in question. The panel rejected defendant's remaining claims of error regarding the jury instructions and defendant's contention that the district abused its discretion by excluding expert testimony he belatedly sought to introduce at trial.