U.S. v. Chapman, Nos. 89-2483

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CUDAHY and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges, and ESCHBACH; RIPPLE
Citation954 F.2d 1352
Decision Date12 February 1991
Docket Number89-2692 and 89-2782,Nos. 89-2483
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Craig CHAPMAN and Jack E. Wright, Defendants-Appellants.

Page 1352

954 F.2d 1352
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Craig CHAPMAN and Jack E. Wright, Defendants-Appellants.
Nos. 89-2483, 89-2692 and 89-2782.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued Feb. 12, 1991. *
Decided Jan. 27, 1992.

Page 1355

Andrew B. Baker, Jr., Asst. U.S. Atty., Dyer, Ind., for U.S.

Craig Chapman, pro se.

Anthony J. Valentine, Grand Rapids, Mich., for Jack E. Wright.

Fred R. Hains, South Bend, Ind., for Craig Chapman.

Before CUDAHY and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges, and ESCHBACH, Senior Circuit Judge.

RIPPLE, Circuit Judge.

Following jury trials, Craig Chapman and Jack E. Wright each were convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery), 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a), (d) (armed bank robbery), and 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence). In this pre-Sentencing Guidelines case, each defendant was sentenced on the three counts to consecutive prison terms of five, fifteen, and five years. These twenty-five year sentences were to be concurrent to the defendants' related state sentences. In this consolidated appeal, Mr. Chapman challenges his judgment of conviction as well as his sentence, and Mr. Wright challenges his judgment of conviction. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the judgments of the district court in all respects.

I
BACKGROUND

A. Facts

In 1987, Mr. Chapman and Mr. Wright were airmen in the 305th Security Police Squadron at Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana. Their case involves the armed robbery of two federally insured banks. The first robbery occurred on May 29, 1987, when an armed man entered the Wabash Valley Bank and Trust Company in Denver, Indiana (Denver bank). The robber soon left with $14,620, including bait money. Although his face was partly hidden and he could not be identified, witnesses were able to recognize that he was black. Shortly before the robbery, witnesses had observed an automobile, driven by a white man with a black passenger, near the Denver bank. The description of that automobile matched that of one belonging to Mr. Chapman's mother. Mr. Chapman is black, and Mr. Wright is white.

Several days later, Thomas Pezet, a third member of the 305th Security Police, approached Mr. Chapman about the Denver bank robbery. Pezet had seen Chapman driving a car that matched the description of the getaway vehicle and had heard Mr. Chapman joke about robbing a bank. After Mr. Chapman admitted that he and another individual had robbed the Denver bank, Pezet confronted Mr. Wright about the robbery. Mr. Wright threatened to kill Pezet and his family if Pezet told anyone. With this threat in the background, Pezet later was induced to drive his own new pick-up truck as the getaway car for a second robbery.

That robbery occurred on July 3, 1987, at the First National Bank of Logansport in Twelve Mile, Indiana (Twelve Mile bank). Accompanied by Mr. Wright and Mr. Chapman, Pezet parked his gray Ford Ranger pick-up truck behind a fire station that is separated by an alley from the Twelve Mile bank. Mr. Wright and Mr. Chapman, both armed, robbed the bank of $7,246; once again, their booty included marked bait money. The pair fled to the waiting Ford Ranger and got into the back of the truck, which was covered by a cap. Pezet then drove out of town.

A short time later, Indiana State Police officers who had received a description of the getaway vehicle pulled over Pezet's truck heading south on U.S. Route 31. Officers discovered Mr. Wright and Mr. Chapman in the back of the truck; they were removed and arrested. The appellants were wearing clothes that matched the description of the Twelve Mile bank robbers. They had with them a bag containing $7,246, including the marked Twelve Mile bait money. Three bills with serial numbers matching the Denver bait money were

Page 1356

later found at Mr. Wright's quarters. 1

On October 13, 1988, a federal grand jury handed down a five-count superseding indictment against Mr. Chapman and Mr. Wright. Count One charged both men with conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Count Two charged Mr. Wright with aiding and abetting the armed robbery of the Denver bank, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 2113(a), (d). Count Three charged Mr. Wright with aiding and abetting the use of a dangerous weapon during and in relation to a crime of violence (the Denver bank robbery), in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 924(c)(1). The final two substantive counts charged Mr. Chapman with identical violations in relation to the Twelve Mile bank robbery. 2

II
ANALYSIS

A. Mr. Chapman's Appeal

1. Search and seizure

Prior to trial, Mr. Chapman filed a motion to suppress evidence, in which he challenged the search that was conducted at the time of his arrest following the Twelve Mile bank robbery. 3 Indiana State Trooper David Fouts and Sergeant Carlos Pettiford stopped Pezet's Ford Ranger after they learned that the Twelve Mile bank had just been robbed and that a vehicle matching the description of Pezet's vehicle was the getaway car. The officers also had been notified that three men were involved and that two of them might be hiding in the rear of the truck. In addition, they had been alerted that a black revolver had been displayed during the robbery. When Trooper Fouts first attempted to stop Pezet, he refused to stop until forced to the side of the road by Sergeant Pettiford. The officers then confirmed that two men were hiding in the back of the truck. As Mr. Chapman and Mr. Wright were escorted out of the truck, Trooper Fouts observed in the back of the truck, in plain view, "what appeared to be the top of a money bag, a holster, and a dark ski mask." Magistrate's Report and Recommendation of Feb. 1, 1989 (R.12) at 5. 4 Both men, as well as Pezet, then were handcuffed and advised of their rights. After the airmen had been handcuffed, Sergeant Pettiford found two handguns underneath the carpet at the front of the truck bed. He also opened the "money bag" or duffel bag and found that it contained money.

The magistrate concluded that the officers' reasonable suspicion ripened into probable cause to arrest Mr. Chapman and his colleagues because they attempted to evade capture, because two men were in the rear of the truck as reports had indicated, and because the duffel bag, ski mask, and holster were observed in plain view. Relying primarily on New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, 101 S.Ct. 2860, 69 L.Ed.2d 768 (1981), the magistrate further concluded that the search of the rear of the truck and of the duffel bag was a permissible search incident to the lawful arrest of Mr. Chapman. According to the magistrate, the search also was justified under United States v. Ross, 456 U.S. 798, 102 S.Ct. 2157, 72 L.Ed.2d 572 (1982), because the officers had probable cause to believe that the fruits and instrumentalities of the crime were to be found in the truck. The magistrate therefore recommended denial of Mr. Chapman's motion to suppress, and the district court denied his objections to

Page 1357

the magistrate's recommendations on March 1, 1989.

In this appeal, Mr. Chapman repeats his contention that items seized at the time of his arrest on the highway following the Twelve Mile bank robbery should have been suppressed. Although he concedes that police had reasonable suspicion to stop the truck in which he was hiding, he contends that he was arrested without probable cause and that the search thus was not incident to a valid arrest. We thus must determine if his arrest was based on probable cause; furthermore, we must determine if the scope of the warrantless search was justified.

a. probable cause to arrest

When probable cause exists to believe that an individual has committed a felony, police may arrest the individual outside his home without an arrest warrant. See United States v. Watson, 423 U.S. 411, 423-24, 96 S.Ct. 820, 828, 46 L.Ed.2d 598 (1976). "Probable cause exists where 'the facts and circumstances within their (the officers') knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information (are) sufficient in themselves to warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that' an offense has been or is being committed." Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 175-76, 69 S.Ct. 1302, 1311, 93 L.Ed. 1879 (1949) (quoting Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 162, 45 S.Ct. 280, 288, 69 L.Ed. 543 (1925)). As the Court noted in Brinegar, when courts attempt after the fact to distinguish between "mere suspicion and probable cause," the "line must necessarily be drawn by an act of judgment formed in the light of the particular situation and with account taken of all the circumstances." Id. 338 U.S. at 176, 69 S.Ct. at 1311. We review de novo the district court's legal determination that probable cause existed for the warrantless arrest, and apply the clearly erroneous standard to the district court's factual findings. See, e.g., United States v. Yakubu, 936 F.2d 936, 938 (7th Cir.1991) (per curiam); United States v. Sophie, 900 F.2d 1064, 1072 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 111 S.Ct. 124, 112 L.Ed.2d 92 (1990); United States v. Ingrao, 897 F.2d 860, 862 (7th Cir.1990). 5

Based on our independent review of the record, we agree with the conclusion of the magistrate, which was adopted by the district court, that the Indiana officers had probable cause to arrest Mr. Chapman. The officers knew that a bank robbery had just occurred and that the description of the getaway vehicle closely matched that of Pezet's new Ford Ranger. Pezet's initial refusal to stop his truck when the officers signalled him to pull over "reinforced the reasonableness of the officers' belief that [the driver] had committed or was committing a crime." United States v. McCarty, 862 F.2d 143, 147 (7th Cir.1988). Sergeant Pettiford's suspicion momentarily might have been allayed when he recognized Pezet, whom he knew to be...

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66 practice notes
  • State v. Angel, No. 15-1830
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 21, 2017
    ...of an oath "is no technical or trivial component of the Warrant Clause of the Fourth Amendment." Id. (quoting United States v. Chapman , 954 F.2d 1352, 1370 (7th Cir. 1992) ). Disregarding the oath or affirmation requirement would "open wide the door to the issuance of unlawful warrants." I......
  • US v. Hildebrand, No. CR 95-2014.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • May 30, 1996
    ...parte showing that the subpoenaed document is relevant, admissible, and requested with adequate specificity); United States v. Chapman, 954 F.2d 1352, 1361 (7th Cir.1992) (court held hearing pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. 17(b) to consider a petition for issuance of thirty-seven subpoenas; the d......
  • US v. Hughes, No. SCR92-19.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • May 3, 1993
    ...Procedure 14, courts are authorized to grant a severance of defendants if a joint trial would be prejudicial. United States v. Chapman, 954 F.2d 1352, 1359 (7th Cir.1992). However, a joint trial of co-conspirators is "presumptively appropriate," and a district court's ruling on a Rule 14 se......
  • Cordero v. Rivera, No. 05 Civ. 9758(SHS).
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • December 29, 2009
    ...reviewed only for abuse of discretion, see United States v. Mitan, 966 F.2d 1165, 1176 (7th Cir. 1992) (quoting United States v. Chapman, 954 F.2d 1352, 1374 (7th Upon review of the record, it does not appear that the trial judge abused his discretion by precluding the defense from calling ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
65 cases
  • State v. Angel, No. 15-1830
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 21, 2017
    ...of an oath "is no technical or trivial component of the Warrant Clause of the Fourth Amendment." Id. (quoting United States v. Chapman , 954 F.2d 1352, 1370 (7th Cir. 1992) ). Disregarding the oath or affirmation requirement would "open wide the door to the issuance of unlawful warrants." I......
  • US v. Hildebrand, No. CR 95-2014.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • May 30, 1996
    ...parte showing that the subpoenaed document is relevant, admissible, and requested with adequate specificity); United States v. Chapman, 954 F.2d 1352, 1361 (7th Cir.1992) (court held hearing pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. 17(b) to consider a petition for issuance of thirty-seven subpoenas; the d......
  • US v. Hughes, No. SCR92-19.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • May 3, 1993
    ...Procedure 14, courts are authorized to grant a severance of defendants if a joint trial would be prejudicial. United States v. Chapman, 954 F.2d 1352, 1359 (7th Cir.1992). However, a joint trial of co-conspirators is "presumptively appropriate," and a district court's ruling on a Rule 14 se......
  • Cordero v. Rivera, No. 05 Civ. 9758(SHS).
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • December 29, 2009
    ...reviewed only for abuse of discretion, see United States v. Mitan, 966 F.2d 1165, 1176 (7th Cir. 1992) (quoting United States v. Chapman, 954 F.2d 1352, 1374 (7th Upon review of the record, it does not appear that the trial judge abused his discretion by precluding the defense from calling ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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