Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Williams: "Incredible" story warrant obstruction of justice enhancement

In U.S. v. Williams, No. 09-10091 (Dec. 8, 2010), the Court agreed with the government that the district court erroneously declined to impose a sentence enhancement for obstruction of justice, and erroneously granted an acceptance of responsibility sentence reduction.

The Court Williams testified at trial that he did not know that he had rammed the vehicle of U.S. Marshals who had come to arrest him on pending charge, and believed that the Marshalls were carjackers. The Court noted that the jury “for good reason” had rejected Williams’ “incredible” testimony. An obstruction of justice enhancement was therefore warranted.

The Court also ruled that Williams was not entitled to an acceptance of responsibility reduction, because he had gone to trial, put the government to its proof, and insisted he was innocent in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.