American Bar Association
Media Alerts
Media Alerts - United States v. McCabe -- Fourth Circuit
Decrease font size
Increase font size
October 29, 2014
  United States v. McCabe -- Fourth Circuit
Headline: Plead the Deaths Away: Meth Maker Not Responsible for Funeral Costs

Area of Law: Sentencing

Issue Presented: Whether a defendant can be ordered to pay half of the funeral costs for a death that the government did not prove the defendant caused.

Brief Summary: Gerald McCabe manufactured methamphetamine in his apartment. An explosion and fire at the apartment caused the death of three people, including his neighbor Joseph Raeth. Following the explosion, McCabe pled guilty to conspiring to manufacture fifty or more grams of methamphetamine and to manufacturing methamphetamine where a minor was present. As part of his sentence, McCabe was ordered to pay half of Raeth's funeral costs. McCabe appealed.

McCabe argued, among other things, that the district court erred in ordering him to pay the funeral costs. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that since the prosecution failed to show at sentencing by a preponderance of the evidence that McCabe's drug conspiracy caused the fire that killed Raeth, Raeth was not a victim of the offense of conviction. As such, the Fourth Circuit found that the district court had erred in ordering McCabe to pay for half of Raeth's funeral costs and vacated that part of the order.
To read the full opinion, please click here.

Panel: Judges Gregory, Agee, and Thacker

Date of Issued Opinion: 09/11/2014

Docket Number: No. 13-4730

Decided: Dismissed in part, vacated in part, and remanded

Case Alert Author: Casandra Mejias

Counsel: William L. Runyon, Jr., WILLIAM L. RUNYON, JR. LAW OFFICE, Charleston, South Carolina, for Appellant. William Nettles, United States Attorney, Peter T. Phillips, Assistant United States Attorney, Charleston, South Carolina, for Appellee.

Author of Opinion: Per curiam

Case Alert Circuit Supervisor: Professor Renée Hutchins

Edited: 10/29/2014 at 02:23 PM by Renee Hutchins

    Posted By: Renee Hutchins @ 10/29/2014 02:14 PM     4th Circuit  

FuseTalk Enterprise Edition - © 1999-2018 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.

Discussion Board Usage Agreement

Back to Top