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Evidence of felon’s gun tattoo not error

December 1, 2014

A defendant who took the stand in his federal trial for felony firearm possession failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Nov. 26 that the evidence of his gun tattoo should not have been admitted.

“(T)he admissibility of the fact that the tattoo existed under the circumstances of this case was not error, clear or otherwise,” Circuit Judge William J. Bauer wrote for the panel affirming William Boswell’s conviction and 235-month sentence.

Boswell was arrested after a sting operation in Anderson in which he sold two handguns to an undercover officer through an acquaintance. Boswell was convicted in the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, and properly sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act, the panel held in United States of America v. William Boswell, 13-3641.

The tattoo evidence was properly admitted because the government used it to impeach Boswell’s testimony on the witness stand that he didn’t deal with or like guns. Admission of the evidence did not unfairly prejudice Boswell, the panel held, and his sentence was not inappropriate.

 

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