Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Newcomb v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

September 9, 2019

Charles T. Newcomb, Appellant,
v.
State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Columbia County. Wesley R. Douglas, Judge.

          Charles M. Collins of Collins Law Firm, Monticello, for Appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Steven E. Woods, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          Rowe, J.

         Charles T. Newcomb appeals his conviction for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. He raises four arguments for reversal. We affirm on all four arguments and write only to address his argument challenging the trial court's denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal.

         Background

         The charges against Newcomb 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 military credentials.

         At a Klan gathering in December 2014, Newcomb, David Moran, and Thomas Driver approached the CI. The men asked the CI 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. Newcomb and Moran went to trial.

         Trial

         At trial, the CI testified that Newcomb, Moran, 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 a man 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. Driver learned months later that the test produced a false positive. He had to undergo months of unnecessary blood work.

         Newcomb and Moran 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. Next, the CI asked Newcomb if he wanted the man "six feet under," and Newcomb had the same response. The CI reported the conversation to the FBI. The FBI asked the CI to record future conversations with Newcomb, Moran, and Driver. Recordings of the interactions that follow were admitted into evidence and played for the jury.

         First, the CI and Newcomb discussed what they needed to do 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. Newcomb volunteered to help locate the man and stated that he "could walk right up and put him out of his misery."

         Two 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 agreed to join them. The CI also reported to Newcomb that he found the attacker's home in Palatka and that a river was nearby. Newcomb asked if they were "just going to snatch him up right there and take him to the river or how are we going to work this?" He also ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.