Sunday, November 17, 2013

United States v. Hankins case brief

United States v. Hankins case brief summary
195 Fed.Appx. 295 (2006)

A jury convicted defendant of having violated 18 U.S.C.S. § 1513(b), 18 U.S.C.S. § 373, 21 U.S.C.S. § 841(a)(1), and 18 U.S.C.S. § 924(c)(1)(A). The United States District Court for the District of Kentucky sentenced him to 322 months' imprisonment. Defendant appealed his conviction of the first two offenses.

Defendant claimed the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions under 18 U.S.C.S. § 1513(b) and 18 U.S.C.S. § 373, which concerned defendant's threats to retaliate against, and his attempt to hire someone to shoot, the director of a drug task force and a county sheriff. Defendant also argued that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress audiotape evidence of statements he made to a confidential informant.

  • The appeals court found no error. 
  • A reasonable juror could have found that statements defendant made about wanting to kill the two law enforcement officers and about wanting to hire, and being willing to pay $20,000 to someone to shoot and cripple them were made because defendant wanted to retaliate against the director and sheriff for their involvement in defendant's criminal proceedings. 
  • They were sufficient to sustain defendant's convictions for threatening to retaliate and for solicitation
  • The district court properly declined to suppress the audiotape evidence because the Fourth Amendment did not protect a person's misplaced belief that a person to whom he voluntarily confided his wrongdoing would not reveal it.
The court affirmed the judgment of the district court.

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