Watson v. United States

Facts of the Case

An officer had been pursuing defendant. Defendant fled into an apartment, made a phone call, and waited for the officer to arrive. When the officer came in, defendant resisted arrest and initiated a struggle with the officer, eventually disarming him. When defendant subdued the officer in the struggle, rather than escaping, defendant retrieved the gun, stood up over the officer, and shot him as he was lying on the floor. Defendant ignored the officer’s twice given admonition that it wasn’t worth it and proceeded to shoot the officer just once. The trial court convicted defendant of first degree murder of a police officer.


Does the receipt of an unloaded firearm as payment for drugs constitute use of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense for purposes of federal law?



Case Information

  • Citation: 552 US 74 (2007)
  • Granted: Feb 26, 2007
  • Argued: Oct 9, 2007
  • Decided Dec 10, 2007