final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Columbia County. Wesley R.
Thomas, Public Defender, and Victor Holder, Assistant Public
Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Benjamin L. Hoffman, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Elliott Moran appeals his conviction for conspiracy to commit
first-degree murder. He raises two arguments for reversal. We
affirm as to both and write only to address his argument that
his motion for judgment of acquittal should have been
charges against Moran stemmed from an FBI investigation into
the activities of the Ku Klux Klan in the St. Augustine area.
The FBI's domestic terrorism task force recruited a
civilian confidential informant to infiltrate the Klan. The
CI joined one of the three area chapters and obtained a
high-level security position in the Klan by inflating his
Klan gathering in December 2014, Moran, Charles Newcomb, and
Thomas Driver approached the CI. The men asked him to help
them plan the murder of a man who had assaulted Driver. Based
on this conversation, the FBI equipped the CI with electronic
devices to record his interactions with the three men. The
recordings of several interactions led to charges against the
three men for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Driver entered a plea. Moran and Newcomb went to trial.
trial, the CI testified that Moran, Newcomb, and Driver first
approached him about the murder plot during a Klan gathering.
Moran told the CI that Driver needed his help. Driver
explained that he was a corrections officer and that an
inmate bit him during an altercation in the prison. Driver
showed the CI a picture of the man. Driver said that the man
tested positive for Hepatitis C. Blood tests first showed
that the man transferred the disease to Driver. After he
underwent months of blood tests to monitor the disease,
Driver learned that the test produced a false positive.
and Newcomb told the CI that they wanted him to do something
about Driver's attacker, who had been released from
prison. The CI asked Moran and Driver if he should beat up
the man. They were not interested in a beating. The CI asked
if they wanted the man "six feet under." Moran and
Driver looked at each other, and then responded
affirmatively. The CI asked Newcomb the same question, and
Newcomb had the same response. The CI reported the
conversation to the FBI. The FBI asked the CI to record
future conversations with Moran, Newcomb, and Driver.
Recordings of the interactions that follow were admitted into
evidence and played for the jury.
the CI and Newcomb discussed what needed to be done about the
attack on Driver. Newcomb called the attack "attempted
murder." Newcomb expressed that he and Moran wanted to
handle the situation without Driver's involvement. He
stated that any action taken against the attacker should
occur when Driver was at work so Driver would have an alibi.
weeks later, Newcomb asked the CI if he was available the
next weekend to take care of Driver's problem. Newcomb
told the CI that Moran said that he would join them. The CI
told Newcomb that he would join them. The CI also reported