Brown v. Murphy
Convictions based on a criminal information that includes counts of attempted murder and that does not include the names of the alleged victims may not deprive a defendant of his Sixth Amendment right to notice of the government's charges. The government alleged the following facts: In May 2001, the petitioner's girlfriend, Pauline Lindo, informed the petitioner, Marshall Brown, that she had decided to end their relationship. On June 4, the petitioner purchased a semiautomatic handgun, which the seller loaded with six rounds of ammunition. The petitioner asked to speak to Lindo, a nurse's assistant, at her workplace. She informed the petitioner she could not speak until her shift ended. When a supervisor asked Lindo to transport a patient to the hospital, the petitioner allegedly grabbed Lindo, placed a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. Unbeknownst to the petitioner, the semiautomatic gun had a faulty firing pin. A nurse pulled the petitioner off Lindo, and the petitioner allegedly grabbed the nurse, placed the gun to her head and pulled the trigger twice. The gun did not fire, and the nurse freed herself. Lindo twisted the petitioner's arm. He dropped the gun, which Lindo kicked toward the nurse. Lindo pushed the petitioner to the floor, and he attempted to run away. At trial, the petitioner's defense was he did not intend to murder anyone. A jury convicted the petitioner of attempted murder and carrying a pistol without a permit. He was sentenced to 36 years. His conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. The petitioner filed a habeas corpus petition and claimed that he was deprived of his right to notice of the government's charges, in violation of the Sixth Amendment, because the government's information did not include the victims' names. The District Court rejected the petitioner's argument. The petitioner received fair notice of the charges. Each count of the information identified the alleged crime and its date and location. The petitioner admitted that he knew that he was charged with the attempted murder of Lindo and a co-worker. The District Court denied the petition for a writ of habeas corpus.