152 F.3d 381 (5th Cir. 1998), 96-10178, United States v. Hall

Docket Nº:96-10178.
Citation:152 F.3d 381
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Orlando Cordia HALL, also known as Lan, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:August 21, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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152 F.3d 381 (5th Cir. 1998)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Orlando Cordia HALL, also known as Lan, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 96-10178.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

August 21, 1998

Rehearing and Suggestion of Rehearing Denied Oct. 1, 1998.

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Christopher Allan Curtis, Asst. U.S. Atty., Fort Worth, TX, Delonia Anita Watson, Dallas, TX, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Marcia Adele Widder, Philadelphia, PA, Michael Logan Ware, Fort Worth, TX, Neal Walker, New Orleans, LA, for Defendant-Appellant.

David W. DeBruin, Thomas J. Perrelli, Elizabeth Appel Blue, Jenner & Block, Washington, DC, for American Orthopsychiatric Ass'n and American Ass'n on Mental Retardation, Amicus Curiae.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Before KING, SMITH, and STEWART, Circuit Judges.

KING, Circuit Judge:

Defendant-Appellant Orlando Cordia Hall challenges his conviction and sentence for kidnapping resulting in death, conspiring to kidnap, traveling in interstate commerce to promote possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and using and carrying a firearm

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during a crime of violence. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.


Orlando Cordia Hall, along with Bruce Webster and Marvin Holloway, ran a marijuana trafficking enterprise in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. They purchased marijuana in varying amounts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with the assistance of Steven Beckley, who lived in Irving, Texas. The marijuana was transported, typically by Beckley, to Arkansas and stored in Holloway's house.

On September 21, 1994, Holloway drove Hall from Pine Bluff to the airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Hall took a flight to Dallas, Texas to engage in a drug transaction. Beckley and Hall's brother, Demetrius Hall (D. Hall), picked Hall up at the airport. Later that day, Hall and Beckley met two local drug dealers, Stanfield Vitalis and Neil Rene (N. Rene), at a car wash and gave them $4700 for the purchase of marijuana. Later that day, Beckley and D. Hall returned to the car wash to pick up the marijuana, but Vitalis and N. Rene never appeared. Later, when Hall got in touch with Vitalis and N. Rene by telephone, they claimed that they had been robbed of the $4700. Using the telephone number that Beckley had used to contact Vitalis and N. Rene, Hall procured an address at the Polo Run Apartments in Arlington, Texas from a friend who worked for the telephone company. Hall, D. Hall, and Beckley began conducting surveillance at the address and saw Vitalis and N. Rene exit an apartment and approach the same car that they had driven to the car wash, which they claimed was stolen from them along with Hall's $4700. Hall therefore deduced that Vitalis and N. Rene had lied to him about being robbed.

On September 24, 1994, Hall contacted Holloway and had him drive Webster to the Little Rock Airport. From there, Webster flew to Dallas. That evening, Hall, D. Hall, Beckley, and Webster returned to the Polo Run Apartments in a Cadillac Eldorado owned by Cassandra Ross, Hall's sister. Hall and Webster were each armed with handguns, D. Hall carried a small souvenir baseball bat, and Beckley had duct tape and a jug of gasoline. The four men approached the apartment that they had previously seen Vitalis and N. Rene leave.

Webster and D. Hall went to the front door of the apartment and knocked. The occupant of the apartment, Lisa Rene, N. Rene's sixteen-year-old sister, refused to let them in and called her sister and 911. After Webster unsuccessfully attempted to kick in the door, he and D. Hall went around to a sliding glass door on the patio and saw that Lisa Rene was on the telephone. D. Hall shattered the glass door with his baseball bat, Webster entered the apartment, tackled Lisa Rene, and dragged her to the car. Hall and Beckley had returned to the car when they heard the sound of breaking glass. Webster forced Lisa Rene onto the floorboard of the car, and the group drove to Ross's apartment in Irving, Texas. Once there, they exited the Cadillac and forced Lisa Rene into the backseat of Beckley's car. Hall got in the backseat as well. Beckley got in the driver's seat, and Webster got in the front passenger seat. The group then drove off again. During the drive, Hall raped Lisa Rene and forced her to perform oral sex on him. The group later returned to Ross's apartment.

From there, Beckley, D. Hall, and Webster drove Lisa Rene to Pine Bluff. Hall remained in Irving and flew back to Arkansas the next day. Once Beckley, D. Hall, and Webster reached Pine Bluff, they obtained money from Holloway to get a motel room. In the motel room, they tied Lisa Rene to a chair and raped her repeatedly.

Hall and Holloway arrived at the motel room on Sunday morning, September 25, 1994. They went into the bathroom with Lisa Rene for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. When Hall and Holloway came out of the bathroom, Hall told Beckley, "She know too much." Hall, Holloway, and Webster then left the motel.

Later that afternoon, Hall and Webster went to Byrd Lake Park and dug a grave. That same evening, Hall, Webster, and Beckley took Lisa Rene to Byrd Lake Park, but could not find the grave site in the dark.

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They then returned to the motel room. In the early morning of Monday, September 26, 1994, Beckley and D. Hall moved Lisa Rene to another motel because they believed that the security guard at the first motel was growing suspicious.

Later the same morning, Webster, Hall, and Beckley again drove Lisa Rene to Byrd Lake Park. Lisa Rene's eyes were covered by a mask. Hall and Webster led the way to the grave site, with Beckley guiding Lisa Rene by the shoulders. At the grave site, Hall turned Lisa Rene's back toward the grave and placed a sheet over her head. He then hit her in the head with a shovel. Lisa Rene screamed and started running. Beckley grabbed her, and they both fell down. Beckley then hit Lisa Rene in the head twice with the shovel and handed it to Hall. Webster and Hall then began taking turns hitting her with the shovel. Webster then gagged Lisa Rene and dragged her into the grave. He covered her with gasoline and shoveled dirt back into the grave. Hall, Beckley, and Webster then returned to the motel and picked up D. Hall.

On September 29, 1994, an arrest warrant issued out of the City of Arlington for Hall, D. Hall, and Beckley for Lisa Rene's kidnapping. D. Hall, Beckley, and Webster were subsequently arrested. On September 30, 1994, Hall surrendered to Pine Bluff authorities in the presence of his attorney. On the advice of counsel, he did not give a statement at the time of his arrest, but indicated that he would talk with law enforcement agents after he was transported to Texas. On October 5, 1994, following his transfer to the Arlington County jail, Hall gave a written statement to FBI and Arlington County officials in which he substantially implicated himself in the kidnapping and murder.

On October 26, 1994, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a criminal complaint charging Hall, D. Hall, Webster, and Beckley with kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1). On November 4, 1994, a six-count superseding indictment was returned, charging Hall, D. Hall, Webster, Beckley, and Holloway with kidnapping in which a death occurred in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1) (count 1), conspiracy to commit kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(c) (count 2), traveling in interstate commerce with intent to promote the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1952 (count 3), using a telephone to promote the unlawful activity of extortion in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1952 (count 4), traveling in interstate commerce with intent to promote extortion in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1952 (count 5), and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (count 6). On February 23, 1995, the government filed its notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Hall pursuant to the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 (FDPA), 18 U.S.C. §§ 3591-3598. On April 6, 1995, the district court granted Hall's motion to sever his trial from that of his codefendants, and trial commenced on October 2, 1995.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty as to counts 1, 2, 3, and 6. After the penalty phase of the trial, the jury returned a recommendation that a sentence of death be imposed. The district court sentenced Hall to death on count 1, life imprisonment on count 2, sixty months imprisonment on count 3 to run concurrently with the life sentence imposed on count 2, and sixty months imprisonment on count 6 to run consecutively to the sentences imposed on counts 2 and 3. Hall filed a timely notice of appeal.


Hall appeals his judgment of conviction and sentence on the following grounds:

1. The district court's failure to allow Hall to allocute before the jury violated his right to due process, violated Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and was an abuse of discretion under the evidentiary standards governing the penalty phase of a capital trial under the FDPA.

2. The district court violated Hall's Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights by conditioning the admission of psychiatric testimony in mitigation of punishment upon Hall's submission to a government psychiatric examination prior to

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conviction without restricting the government's access to the results of the examination until after the guilt phase of trial.

3. The district court abused its discretion by admitting...

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