U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Criminal and Insurance Matters

US v. Begay, No. 09-2163, involved the government's appeal from the district court's order dismissing with prejudice a superseding indictment charging defendant with multiple counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child in Indian Country, and directing the parties to proceed to trial on the original indictment, which charged defendant with a single count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child in Indian Country.  The court reversed on the ground that, although it was true that the government delayed seeking the superseding indictment in the sense that it had been privy for some time to the evidence underlying each count of the superseding indictment, nothing in the record established that this was the type of "unnecessary delay" envisioned by Fed. R. Crim. P. 48(b)(1).

Safeco Ins. Co. of Am. v. Hilderbrand, No. 08-3225, concerned an action by an insurer seeking a declaration that it was not required to provide coverage to a defendant in an underlying suit regarding a person who was attacked by a tiger.  The court affirmed judgment for plaintiff, holding that the homeowners policy did not apply to defendants' exotic animal rescue and exhibition business, nor did any other exception in the policy apply to the facts of the case.

In US v. Martinez, No. 09-1140, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's bank robbery sentence, on the ground that defendant made a threat of death during the bank robberies and enhancing the sentence accordingly.  However, the court vacated defendant's sentence because a state court vacated one of defendant's prior convictions.

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