United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court on:
Dkt. 401 Motion for A Certificate of Innocence
Dkt. 402 Motion for Summary Judgment
Christopher P. Veltmann, pro se, requests that the Court
grant Defendant's Motion for a Certificate of Innocence.
Veltmann asserts that he is seeking relief under 28 U.S.C.
Sec. 1495 and 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2513 in the amount of $245,
760.06, and all other costs, fees, interest and other
appropriate relief. Defendant Veltmann states that he was
arrested on October 17, 1991, and released on September 13,
1996, when a jury found him innocent of all crimes listed on
Christopher P. Veltmann was tried in a jury trial before the
Hon. Nicholas Tsoucalas, United States District Judge, and
found guilty on Counts 1, 2-19, 20-29 on March 13, 1992.
Carl Veltmann and Christopher Veltmann appealed their
convictions and sentences. The Eleventh Circuit Court of
Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part; the case was
remanded for a new trial on December 9, 1993. (Dkt. 138).
appeal, the Veltmanns asserted that there was insufficient
evidence to support findings of guilt, alleging error in the
trial court's denial of their timely motions for
acquittal. As to this issue, the Eleventh Circuit stated:
We must, of course, view the evidence in a light most
favorable to the government...We cannot agree with
defendants. The evidence admitted regarding the smoke
detector and alarm systems, statements made to cellmates,
defendants' inconsistent statements about their actions
that evening, Carl's commentary about how to commit
arson, and the previous fires on Veltmann property precludes
a finding based on the evidence before them a jury could not
have found Carl and Chris Veltmann guilty beyond a reasonable
U.S. v. Veltmann. 6 F.3d 1483, 1491 (11th
Veltmanns appealed the exclusion of Carl Engstrom's
videotaped deposition from the trial. Defendants offered the
deposition as relevant hearsay, admissible pursuant to Fed.
R. Ev. 803(3), reflecting Elizabeth Veltmann's state of
mind. The Eleventh Circuit found that the deposition was
admissible under the state of mind exception, and while
conceivably cumulative, its import was such that exclusion
violated Defendants' right to put on a defense, requiring
reversal. Veltmann. 6 F.3d at 1493.. The Eleventh
Circuit explained that the evidence was relevant because it
contained not merely references to suicide, but information
pertinent to [Elizabeth Veltmann]'s desperate mental
condition regarding finances on the date of her death.
Veltmann. 6 F.3d at 1495. The Eleventh Circuit
further determined that the evidence was not cumulative; no
other witness brought to the jury that aspect of
decedent's financial desperation arising from the end of
a successful, long-term blackmail. Veltmann. 6 F.3d
Eleventh Circuit analyzed the prior fires evidence, which was
admitted over Defendants' objections; the Eleventh
Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part as to the prior
fires evidence. The Eleventh Circuit found that
Defendants' statements to the insurance investigator as
to any previous fires on property owned by the Veltmanns'
were not in furtherance of the charged offense,
Veltmann at 1498, and did not meet the threshold
level of relevance for ...