October 23, 2015
from United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota - St. Paul.
United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Carol M.
Kayser, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Steven L. Schleicher, U.S.
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Saint Paul, MN; Richard Newberry,
Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, District
of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Jamillo Donte Spight, Defendant - Appellant: Paul Applebaum,
APPLEBAUM LAW FIRM, Saint Paul, MN.
Donte Spight, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Pine Knot, KY.
RILEY, Chief Judge, SMITH and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
Donte Spight challenges the sufficiency of the evidence used
to convict him of being a felon in possession of a firearm in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Spight also argues
that the district court should not have admitted
into evidence expert testimony from an ATF agent because
it lacked proper foundation. Additionally, Spight asserts
that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by
making an evidentiary stipulation and not adequately
investigating the case. Lastly, Spight contends that the
government failed to disclose exculpatory evidence during
discovery. We affirm.
September 2013, a nightclub security camera recorded Spight
enter the establishment with a loaded handgun. In addition,
several eyewitnesses observed him in possession of the
weapon. In fact, an unarmed security guard, Eric Wasson,
wrestled the gun from Spight's grasp. The gun discharged
twice during the scuffle. Fortunately, the shots injured no
one. Wasson then handed the gun to Jonathan Price, the
nightclub's owner, who had rushed to the commotion.
Standing nearby, Annikki Davis, another unarmed security
guard, witnessed the entire incident.
was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a
firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). At
Spight's bench trial, Wasson, Price, and Davis testified.
The government also admitted the video from the security
camera. Spight challenged the credibility of both Wasson and
Davis on two bases. First, both witnesses were themselves
convicted felons. The district court " [took] into
account their criminal records" and concluded that
" their testimony was credible with respect to their
observations and identification of [Spight] and their
testimony regarding his possession of a firearm." The
court based its conclusion upon its " evaluation of
their testimony, in light of all of the evidence before the
Court, including the DVD video." Second, Price indicated
that he had helped wrestle the gun from Spight, which
contradicted Wasson's testimony that he took the gun from
Spight and then handed it to Price. On the basis of the video
evidence that supported ...