United States v. Clarett, 110618 FED8, 17-3057

Docket Nº:17-3057
Opinion Judge:ERICKSON, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:United States of America Plaintiff - Appellee v. William Clarett Defendant-Appellant
Judge Panel:Before WOLLMAN, KELLY, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:November 06, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

United States of America Plaintiff - Appellee


William Clarett Defendant-Appellant

No. 17-3057

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 6, 2018

Submitted: September 28, 2018.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis

Before WOLLMAN, KELLY, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.

ERICKSON, Circuit Judge.

William Clarett was convicted of conspiracy to commit, and use of a facility of interstate commerce in the commission of, murder for hire in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1958(a). He appeals the district court's refusal to give an entrapment instruction. We affirm.1

I. Background

In 2015, Travis Hayden was murdered in St. Louis County, Missouri. Shamonique Wilson, the sole eyewitness, identified William Clarett as the murderer. Clarett was charged with Hayden's murder and, while awaiting trial in the St. Louis County Jail, he reunited with Derek Petty, a high school friend who was awaiting trial on unrelated federal charges. Petty had previously given an unfruitful proffer interview that earned him no leniency from the government. Unbeknownst to Clarett, Petty was hoping to acquire information on other inmates with a goal of obtaining leniency.

According to Petty's trial testimony, Clarett frequently discussed his case with Petty, including his plans to have Wilson killed. Clarett told Petty that he had unsuccessfully recruited two people to "get at" Wilson, and was looking to hire someone else to do the job. Petty suggested to Clarett that he might know somebody who could do it and Clarett expressed interest. At some point after this conversation Clarett handed Petty a scrap of paper with Shamonique Wilson's name handwritten on it.

Petty then wrote to the Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting his case, relating what he had learned about Clarett and his plan to do away with Wilson. The government offered Petty another chance to proffer during which he turned over the scrap of paper with Wilson's name on it. Petty suggested that the government should set up a sting against Clarett using Detective Jordan Exum. Petty knew Det. Exum from his...

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