393 F.3d 842 (8th Cir. 2005), 04-1223, United States v. Walker

Docket Nº:04-1223.
Citation:393 F.3d 842
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Demarko S. WALKER, Appellant.
Case Date:January 13, 2005
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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393 F.3d 842 (8th Cir. 2005)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

Demarko S. WALKER, Appellant.

No. 04-1223.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

January 13, 2005

Submitted: Oct. 19, 2004.

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B. John Burns, argued, Des Moines, IA, for appellant.

Richard D. Westphal, Asst. U.S. Atty., Rock Island, IL (Richard E. Rothrock, Asst. U.S. Atty., Des Moines, IA, on the brief), for appellee.

Before MORRIS SHEPPARD ARNOLD, BOWMAN, and RILEY, Circuit Judges.

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RILEY, Circuit Judge.

After a jury convicted Demarko Walker (Walker) of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (1), the district court 1 entered judgment and sentenced Walker to 112 months imprisonment. Walker appeals, arguing the district court erroneously admitted certain testimony at trial, and erroneously denied Walker's post-trial motions for judgment of acquittal or for a new trial. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On May 13, 2003, Officer Chad Cornwell (Officer Cornwell) of the Des Moines (Iowa) Police Department (DMPD) pulled over a Mercury Grand Marquis (Mercury) for speeding, for not displaying a front license plate, and for having a cracked windshield. Officer Comwell talked with the driver of the Mercury, Otto Gipson (Gipson), who had no identification and said his driver's license was suspended. Officer Cornwell then asked Walker, who was the front-seat passenger and only other occupant, to identify himself. Walker identified himself as John Smith, and gave Officer Cornwell a false date of birth and a false social security number. While Officer Cornwell returned to his police cruiser to check the information given to him, two other DMPD police officers arrived.

Officer Cornwell informed one of the newly arrived officers, Officer Stewart Barnes (Officer Barnes), that Gipson was driving on a suspended license, the passenger may have provided false information, and a beer bottle was on the floorboard between the driver and passenger. Officer Barnes approached the Mercury and asked Gipson to step out of and behind the vehicle. While another officer kept Gipson under observation at the rear of the vehicle, Officer Barnes talked to Walker, who remained in the passenger seat. Officer Barnes asked Walker a few questions, and Walker still did not provide his real identity, age or date of birth. Officer Barnes removed the beer bottle from the Mercury and informed Walker there was a problem.

Officer Cornwell then learned Walker had given false information, informed Officer Barnes of this finding, and approached the passenger-side of the Mercury. As Officer Cornwell approached the vehicle, Officer Barnes told Officer Cornwell that Walker needed to be removed from the vehicle. Walker then slid across to the driver's seat, put the car in gear, and sped away. Officer Barnes grabbed onto the vehicle as it sped off, and was dragged to the next intersection while yelling at Walker to stop the vehicle. As the Mercury approached the intersection, Walker slowed down and told Officer Barnes to let go. When Walker sped up again, Officer Barnes let go and hit the pavement.

Lieutenant Leesa Shoemaker (Lieutenant Shoemaker), a veteran of over eighteen years with the Polk County Sheriff's Office, received an emergency radio broadcast that a DMPD officer was down, and that the fleeing Mercury was in close proximity to her patrol vehicle. When Lieutenant Shoemaker spotted the Mercury swerving in traffic, she followed it in her marked Ford Explorer (Explorer). Lieutenant Shoemaker engaged her emergency lights and siren, but the Mercury accelerated, running stop signs and a stop light. Walker drove the Mercury 70 miles per hour through a residential area with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. While driving between 60 and 70 miles per hour,

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Walker twice leaned over to the passenger-side of the vehicle, causing Lieutenant Shoemaker to lose sight of Walker.

Walker then ran a red light at another intersection and struck a van. Walker exited the Mercury and fled on foot. Lieutenant Shoemaker continued to pursue Walker in her Explorer. After Walker ran behind a residence, Lieutenant Shoemaker exited her Explorer and pursued Walker on foot. Finally, Lieutenant Shoemaker caught Walker and forced him to the ground. Lieutenant Shoemaker held Walker until DMPD officers arrived to assist, at which time she transferred custody of Walker to them.

Lieutenant Shoemaker returned to the intersection where Walker collided with the van. Based on Walker's movements during the chase, Lieutenant Shoemaker testified she believed Walker had a gun in the Mercury. When Lieutenant Shoemaker reached the Mercury, she told a DMPD officer...

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