Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. CR-92-0410-DWW. David W. Williams, Senior District Judge, Presiding
Before: Brunetti, Kozinski, and Boggs,*fn** Circuit Judges
This case arises within the context of the Los Angeles riots following the acquittal of certain white police officers accused of beating a black motorist as they attempted to arrest him. The rioting began on April 29, 1992, and continued for two or three days.
On May 4, 1992, agents of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) learned that Bobby Wayne Carter (Carter) was involved in looting and stealing weapons from a pawn shop in Los Angeles. After obtaining a search warrant to search Carter's residence, they saw him driving his automobile near his home on May 5, 1992. The ATF agents stopped him and after he waived his Miranda rights, Carter told the agents he had a pistol on his person which he had purchased for $75 from an unnamed individual three or four days earlier.*fn1
Carter pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) after the district court ruled that he was not entitled to present a necessity defense. His plea was conditional in order to preserve for appeal the issue of whether the district court erred in excluding his necessity defense.
The district court had jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3231. We have jurisdiction over this timely appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and affirm.
Carter contends that the district court erred in granting the Government's motion in limine to exclude his necessity defense. We reject this contention.
The district court's decision to bar a necessity defense is reviewed de novo. United States v. Aguilar, 883 F.2d 662, 692 (9th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 111 S. Ct. 751 (1991). As a matter of law, to be entitled to a necessity defense, a defendant must establish the following four elements:
(1) that he was faced with a choice of evils and chose the lesser evil; (2) that he acted to prevent imminent harm; (3) that he reasonably anticipated a causal relation between his conduct and the harm to be avoided; and (4) that there were not other legal alternatives to violating the law.
Id. at 693. The district court properly precludes use of the necessity defense if the defendant fails to establish any ...