BREITENSTEIN, Circuit Judge.
A jury found appellant Sadler guilty of violating the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2312, and the court sentenced him to a 4-year term of imprisonment. To reverse the judgment he asserts that the evidence was insufficient, that testimony of admissions by him was improperly received, and that the trial judge, in his instructions to the jury, erroneously commented on the evidence.
The charge is based on the transportation by Sadler of a rented Chevrolet automobile from Laredo, Texas, to Salt Lake City, Utah. The evidence is claimed to be deficient in that there is a failure of proof that, prior to the termination of the interstate journey, Sadler had any intent to deprive the owner of the car wrongfully.
After he had found a Utah driver's license which fitted his description and bore the name of one Conway, he bought a car which could not be driven, obtained license plates for it in the name of Conway, and placed those plates on the rented Chevrolet. Sadler said that he intended to park the car near the Salt Lake City agency for Hertz, call that agency, report the location of the car, watch from a near-by vantage point to see if Hertz picked up the car, and then when his economic position bettered to pay Hertz the rental charges. Before he could do this he was arrested by Salt Lake City police and charged as a federal parole violator.
The interstate transportation of an embezzled automobile with knowledge of the felonious taking is a violation of § 2312.
This case is not like Rosenberg v. United States, supra, where the use of the mails had to be first inferred and then the inference drawn that the defendant had caused the mails to be used. To convict Sadler three essentials had to be established, the felonious taking of the car, knowledge of that felonious taking, and an interstate transportation thereafter. From the facts proved, a felonious taking may have been reasonably inferred. Knowledge of that taking was contemporaneous with the taking as the individual who took the car is the one charged with the knowledge. Further, there was evidence of events which occurred before the interstate transportation was concluded which supported the inference of the taking. Thus the jury's determination of the time of the taking depended independently upon
On the day after his arrest and while he was being held as a parole violator, Sadler was interviewed by an F. B. I. agent who advised him of his constitutional rights and questioned him about the rented car. At the trial the agent testified as to the statements then made by Sadler. No objection was made to that testimony and Sadler later took the stand in his own behalf. His testimony does not differ in any important respect from that given by the agent but enlarges thereon. In the circumstances there is no basis for any claim of error.
The contention that the trial court exceeded the permissible bounds of discretion in commenting on the evidence in his instructions to the jury is without merit. There was no expression of opinion of guilt as required a reversal in Davis v. United States, 10 Cir., 227 F.2d 568. Instead the trial judge made a fair and accurate statement of the evidence in an impartial, dispassionate and judicial manner and by clear and specific language told the jurors that they should exercise their independent and untrammelled judgment in determining the facts. This complies with the rule which has long applied in this circuit.