523 F.2d 1099 (D.C. Cir. 1975), 74-1874, United States v. Bridgeman

Docket Nº:74-1874, 74-2034, 74-2055, 74-2127.
Citation:523 F.2d 1099
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America v. James BRIDGEMAN, Appellant. UNITED STATES of America v. Henry B. JOHNSON, Appellant. UNITED STATES of America v. William BROWN, Appellant. UNITED STATES of America v. Robert G. MATTHEWS, Appellant. UNITED STATES of America v. Terry L. BURGIN, Appellant. UNITED STATES of America v. Keith G. GREENFIELD, Appellant. UNITED S
Case Date:November 28, 1975
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
 
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Page 1099

523 F.2d 1099 (D.C. Cir. 1975)

UNITED STATES of America

v.

James BRIDGEMAN, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

Henry B. JOHNSON, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

William BROWN, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

Robert G. MATTHEWS, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

Terry L. BURGIN, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

Keith G. GREENFIELD, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

James R. LANGLEY, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

Henry B. JOHNSON, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

Henry JOHNSON, Appellant.

UNITED STATES of America

v.

Henry B. JOHNSON, Appellant.

Nos. 74-1475, 74-1476, 74-1497, 74-1514, 74-1615, 74-1646,

74-1874, 74-2034, 74-2055, 74-2127.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

November 28, 1975

Argued April 22, 1975.

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George P. Lamb, Jr., Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court), for appellant in No. 74-1475.

Richard H. Chused, Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court), for appellants in Nos. 74-1475, 74-2034, 74-2055 and 74-2127.

Fred Warren Bennett, Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court), for appellant in No. 74-1497.

Peter D. Ehrenhaft, Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court), for appellant in No. 74-1514.

Arthur B. Goodkind, Washington, D. C., with whom Merrill F. Hathaway, Jr., Washington, D. C. (both appointed by this court), was on the brief for appellant in No. 74-1615.

Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr., Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court), for appellant in No. 74-1646.

Lawrence H. Schwartz, Washington, D. C. (appointed by this court), for appellant in No. 74-1874.

David E. Wilson, Asst. U. S. Atty., with whom Earl J. Silbert, U. S. Atty., John A. Terry, James F. McMullin, John O'B. Clarke, Jr., Lester B. Seidel and Paul N. Murphy, Asst. U. S. Attys., were on the brief for appellee.

Before TAMM, MacKINNON and WILKEY, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the court filed by Circuit Judge MacKINNON.

MacKINNON, Circuit Judge:

We review here the contentions raised by seven appellants who, among others, were charged in a joint indictment with offenses related to a conspiracy, an attempted jail break, and a riot at the District of Columbia jail. Evidence of the guilt of each appellant has been separately considered against the contentions they cumulatively raise on appeal. Finding all the arguments raised by counsel to be without substantial merit, we affirm all convictions.

The October 11 Uprising

Following a five-month special grand jury investigation and pursuant to a voluminous indictment, appellants in these consolidated appeals were tried in three separate jury trials before Judge Gasch in February and March of 1974 for offenses stemming from the October 11, 1972 riot at the District of Columbia jail. Appellant James A. Bridgeman, testifying under a grant of immunity as a Government witness in the third trial following his conviction in the first, recounted that he, Frank Gorham and Robert N. Jones 1 conceived an escape plan in late September or early October of 1972. The three were smuggled a revolver loaded with five rounds, and they initiated the plan on October 11.

Jones feigned illness in his cell; when two officers entered to assist him, Gorham accosted them with the revolver. The two inmates secured these officers in Jones' cell and proceeded to acquire more hostages first, the third member

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of the night shift, then the four members of a skeletal "goon squad" alerted to the trouble in Cell Block 1. Gorham and appellant Keith Greenfield promptly assumed leadership of that contingent of prisoners who asked to be released. There followed an initial and abortive attempt at escape both by cutting bars with an acetylene torch and by climbing out a fifth-floor skylight. During this period a homosexual inmate was brutally raped over a period of six or seven hours, and several of the appellants administered damaging blows to their captives in particular, appellant Terry L. Burgin beat Lieutenant Charles Wren, leader of the "goon squad," in the head with a hammer and ground a gun barrel into the Lieutenant's temple until the officer asked to be killed rather than tortured. Also during this time D. C. Corrections Director Kenneth Hardy entered the jail with Washington Post Reporter William Claiborne, as the inmates had requested. Prisoners lectured these men about the "revolution" they were conducting and allowed no opportunity for discussion or negotiation.

With Hardy as a hostage, the inmates redirected their escape toward the jail's central Rotunda. They intermingled with and tied themselves to the prison guards, who were to serve as shields. Inmates who did not want to participate were ordered to leave the second tier landing adjacent to the Rotunda, which served as a staging area for the attempt. Appellants Bridgeman, Henry B. Johnson, Keith C. Greenfield, William Brown, Terry L. Burgin, and Robert G. Matthews all stood poised to rush the Rotunda door. They surged forward, with Hardy at the head of the phalanx, and Matthews and Burgin, both tied to the Corrections Director, struck him to heighten the sincerity of his entreaty to officials on the other side of the Rotunda door that the group be let out. After suffering a brutal beating, Hardy persuaded his captors that his commands no longer carried any force and that the door would not be opened, whereupon the prisoners retreated to their cells on the second tier to reassess their predicament.

Together with Jones, appellants Burgin and Brown determined to make a final escape attempt. After continued brutalizing of Hardy and Wren, the inmates led the latter man to a window looking out on 19th Street, S.E., beat him to make him plead for his captors' release, and cut him with jagged shards of glass in the broken window. This time Wren had to explain to the inmates that by Department of Corrections regulations hostages lost all authority, and finally he was led back to the cell where he had been imprisoned. The escape attempt had been frustrated, and by early morning, October 12, 22 hours after the riot had begun, the last hostages were released. Officials who assessed the damage done to the jail estimated more than $76,000 in property damage, primarily through arson.

The Indictment

Appellants were collectively charged in an indictment filed October 5, 1973. The first count charged an unlawful conspiracy, beginning on or about October 1, 1972, and continuing up to and including October 11, 1972, to escape from the custody of the Attorney General in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 751; and to kidnap and assault correctional officers (jail guards and personnel) in violation of D.C. Code §§ 22-502 and 2101. In addition to 14 named defendants the indictment alleged the existence of other known and unknown conspirators. The named defendants included the following seven appellants: James A. Bridgeman, James R. Langley, William Brown (not William E. Brown, another codefendant), Terry L. Burgin, Keith G. Greenfield, Robert G. Matthews and Henry B. Johnson.

The entire indictment as returned by the grand jury contained 49 counts. In addition to the conspiracy count, counts 2 through 15 charged the seven appellants here and others with attempted escape. Counts 16 through 27 charged appellants and others with kidnapping 12

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hostages with intent to hold and detain them for the purpose of effecting an escape from the District of Columbia jail. Counts 28 through 38 charged appellants and others with armed robbery of money and designated property taken from 11 named individuals in violation of D.C. Code §§ 22-2901, 3202. Count 39 charged the seven appellants and others with incitement to riot, in the course of which there was resulting property damage in excess of $5,000 and serious bodily harm to Charles Wren, Bruce A. Davis and Santionta C. Butler, in violation of D.C. Code § 22-1122(d). The indictment charged that Wren was beaten about the body and head with a pistol and other weapons, causing grave bodily harm. It was further alleged that Bruce A. Davis and Santionta C. Butler were repeatedly forced to engage in both anal and oral sodomy, also causing grave bodily harm.

In the indictment's fortieth count, Matthews was charged with anal sodomy upon a male, Santionta C. Butler. The forty-first count charged Brown with anal sodomy upon Butler. In the forty-third count, Johnson was charged with oral sodomy upon Butler. The forty-fourth count charged Matthews with assaulting Kenneth L. Hardy with a dangerous weapon, a pistol. The forty-fifth and forty-sixth counts charged Brown with a similar assault upon both Charles Wren and Kenneth Hardy, respectively. In the forty-seventh count, Burgin was charged with assaulting Charles Wren with a dangerous weapon, that is, a pistol and a hammer. And the forty-eighth count charged Burgin with the same assault upon Hardy. The forty-second and forty-ninth counts were irrelevant to this proceeding.

The trial court severed the cases of these seven accused into three separate trials, the transcripts of which total 4,363 pages. The trial of Bridgeman, Langley, Greenfield, and Matthews began on February 7, 1974. Brown and Johnson were tried from February 19 to 26, 1974. Burgin was tried in late March, 1974 in a joint trial with other defendants whose appeals were not consolidated with the cases we consider here.

The first trial resulted in the conviction of Bridgeman, Langley, Matthews, and Greenfield on...

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