USA v. James Cotter
Opinion issued by court as to Appellant James Robert Cotter. Decision: Affirmed. Opinion type: Non-Published. Opinion method: Per Curiam. The opinion is also available through the Court's Opinions page at this link http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions.
Date Filed: 08/16/2017
Page: 1 of 2
[DO NOT PUBLISH]
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
D.C. Docket No. 3:08-cr-00326-HES-JRK-1
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
JAMES ROBERT COTTER,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Florida
(August 16, 2017)
Before WILLIAM PRYOR, JORDAN and ROSENBAUM, Circuit Judges.
James Cotter appeals the revocation of his supervised release, 18 U.S.C.
§ 3583(e)(3), for possessing child pornography. Cotter argues that there is
Date Filed: 08/16/2017
Page: 2 of 2
insufficient evidence that he violated the conditions of his supervised release and
that the district court clearly erred when it found that the recantation of his
confession was not credible. We affirm.
We review a ruling that a defendant violated the terms of his supervised
release for an abuse of discretion. United States v. Copeland, 20 F.3d 412, 413
(11th Cir. 1994). Credibility determinations are the province of the fact finder who
personally observes the witnesses and is in a better position than a reviewing court
to assess their credibility. United States v. Ramirez-Chilel, 289 F.3d 744, 749 (11th
The district court did not abuse its discretion when it revoked Cotter’s
supervised release. The district court was entitled to find by a preponderance of the
evidence that, on October 14, 2014, while on supervised release, Cotter knowingly
possessed child pornography and that he admitted that, on March 17, 2016, he
accessed the internet using a cell phone and a tablet device to download child
pornography. Circumstantial evidence supports the inference that Cotter had access
to and used a secure digital memory card to obtain child pornography. And the
district court did not clearly err when it discredited Cotter’s recantation of his
earlier confession. The district court was entitled to find that Cotter’s admissions
about viewing images of males but not females were credible. We affirm.
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