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United States v. Tillman

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 27, 2014

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
April Tillman, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted August 22, 2014

Page 832

Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Waterloo.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Patrick J. Reinert, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Lisa C. Williams, U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA.

For April Tillman, Defendant - Appellant: Brian Dean Johnson, Jacobsen & Johnson, Cedar Rapids, IA.

April Tillman, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Oklahoma City, OK.

Before BENTON, MELLOY, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 833

BENTON, Circuit Judge

April Bregette Tillman was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § § 841(b)(1)(A) and 846. She appeals, arguing: (1) the evidence was insufficient to convict, (2) the district court[1] erred in denying her " buyer/seller" jury instruction, and (3) the district court incorrectly instructed the jury on the drug quantity attributable to her. Having jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.

I.

Tillman contends the evidence was insufficient to support the conspiracy conviction. This court reviews " the sufficiency of the evidence de novo, viewing evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, resolving conflicts in the government's favor, and accepting all reasonable inferences that support the verdict." United States v. Harris-Thompson, 751 F.3d 590, 598 (8th Cir. 2014). This court reverses " only if no reasonable jury could have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." United States v. Brooks, 715 F.3d 1069, 1081 (8th Cir. 2013). " This standard applies even when the conviction rests entirely on circumstantial evidence." United States v. Worman, 622 F.3d 969, 977 (8th Cir. 2010).

" To establish a conspiracy, the government must prove: (1) the existence of an agreement among two or more people to achieve an illegal purpose, (2) the defendant's knowledge of the agreement, and (3) that the defendant knowingly joined and participated in the agreement." United States v. Johnson, 719 F.3d 660, 666 (8th Cir. 2013). The government " is not required to prove an express ...


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