Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Hall

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 14, 2017

United States of America Plaintiff- Appellee
v.
Anthony Steven Hall, Jr. Defendant-Appellant

          Submitted: September 22, 2017

         Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Cedar Rapids.

          Before LOKEN, ARNOLD, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.

          SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge.

         Defendant Anthony Hall appeals from a jury verdict finding him guilty of possession with intent to distribute marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A), and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and 922(g)(3). Hall challenges the district court's[1]admission of factual statements from his withdrawn plea agreement, denial of his motion for a mistrial, and determination at sentencing that he was a career offender and an armed career criminal. We affirm.

         I.

         During a traffic stop on April 13, 2015, police smelled marijuana and searched Hall's car, finding 64 bags of marijuana and a loaded .40 caliber handgun in the console. Hall texted his girlfriend, Kari Merwin, to come get him and stated he was "dirty." When police arrested Hall, he attempted to flee, punching one of the officers in the process.

         Hall pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Prior to sentencing, Hall withdrew his guilty plea. Hall was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. A jury trial ensued. At trial, the government offered into evidence factual statements from Hall's withdrawn plea agreement, including Hall's admission that he knowingly possessed the handgun while unlawfully using marijuana. Before closing arguments, a juror requested an escort for the jury to their cars following trial, stating she was followed by a witness-later identified as Merwin-for about two miles as she was leaving the courthouse the previous day. Hall moved for a mistrial, which the district court denied. Instead, the court instructed the jury that the incident was a coincidence and should not influence their decisions. The jury found Hall guilty on all counts. Based on Hall's two prior drug convictions and a Texas robbery conviction, the court determined Hall was a career offender under USSG § 4B1.1(a) and an armed career criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). The court sentenced Hall to 360 months imprisonment.

         II.

         Hall first challenges the admission of the factual statements from his withdrawn plea agreement into evidence at trial. Because a withdrawn plea agreement is generally inadmissible, our decision turns on whether Hall knowingly and voluntarily waived his rights. See United States v. Mezzanatto, 513 U.S. 196, 210 (1995). "[W]hether a waiver of rights is valid is a question of law reviewed de novo." United States v. Washburn, 728 F.3d 775, 779 (8th Cir. 2013).

         Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(f) states that "[t]he admissibility or inadmissibility of a plea, a plea discussion, and any related statement is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence 410." Under Rule 410, "a guilty plea that was later withdrawn" is inadmissible. Fed.R.Evid. 410(a)(1). However, a defendant may waive his Rule 410 rights "absent some affirmative indication that the agreement was entered into unknowingly or involuntarily." Mezzanatto, 513 U.S. at 210. "We look to the circumstances surrounding the signing and entry of the plea agreement to determine whether the defendant willfully agreed to its terms." United States v. Young, 223 F.3d 905, 909 (8th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         The plea agreement Hall initialed and signed included the following provision:

By initialing each of the following paragraphs, defendant stipulates to the following facts. Defendant agrees these facts are true and may be used to establish a factual basis for defendant's guilty plea and sentence. Defendant has been advised by defendant's attorney of defendant's rights under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(f) and Federal Rule of Evidence 410. Defendant waives these rights and agrees this stipulation may be used against defendant at any time in any proceeding should defendant violate or refuse to follow through on this plea agreement, regardless of whether the plea agreement has been accepted by the Court.

         This language makes clear that if Hall were to later withdraw his guilty plea, the statements of fact in the plea agreement could be used against him at any time in any proceeding. By initialing additional provisions, Hall acknowledged that he had read the entire agreement with assistance of counsel, understood his rights, and entered into the agreement freely and voluntarily. See Washburn, 728 F.3d at 780 (upholding similarly ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.