United States v. Clark, 4:16CR00107 JAR/NCC

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
PartiesUNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. SACOREY CLARK, Defendant.
Docket NumberNo. 4:16CR00107 JAR/NCC,4:16CR00107 JAR/NCC
Decision Date01 March 2017


No. 4:16CR00107 JAR/NCC


March 1, 2017


The above matter was referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).

Based on the evidence and testimony adduced, as well as a review of the transcript of the hearing in this matter; and having had an opportunity to evaluate the credibility of the witness presented and to observe his behavior, the undersigned makes the following finds of fact and conclusions of law.


Defendant Sacorey Clark is charged in a one-count Indictment with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Defendant was initially represented by appointed counsel in this matter. On March 18, 2016, the undersigned heard argument to address defendant's intent to represent himself in this case. The undersigned granted defendant's motion after inquiry and appointed standby counsel for defendant. Defendant has since filed pro se numerous motions (Doc. Nos. 29, 30, 34, 42, 49, 52, 64-65, 71-72, and 79), and requests for information directed to the Court and standby counsel that reach beyond the typical scope of discovery to which he is entitled, and the requirements of standby

Page 2

counsel to act on his behalf. See (Doc. Nos. 43, 56, and 57). The government has responded. (Doc. Nos. 41, 44, 53 and 54). Defendant has filed additional Motions in Opposition, which will be considered by the undersigned as defendant Clark's Replies to the Responses filed by the United States.1 (Doc. No. 31, 41, 44, 49, 53-54, and 81). Defendant has asked for many continuances of these proceedings for a variety of reasons.2 The matters are now fully briefed.


On February 1, 2016, at around 8:00 a.m., St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer Nicholas Henderson was on patrol in North Saint Louis in a marked Chevy Tahoe police vehicle with Officer Andy Brown, when they received a request to respond over the police dispatch radio. Officer Henderson has extensive police training and experience. Officer Henderson was a police officer for approximately two years at the time he testified. His is a certified graduate of the St. Louis Police Academy and he holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. His experience includes a ten-year background in school and retail security prior to his present work. He has also served as a military police officer for six years with the Army National Guard.

The communication to Officers Henderson and Brown on February 1st regarding this case occurred after police dispatch received a 911 call from an eyewitness of an assault in progress. Def. Ex. C. Thereafter, three other 911 calls from other eyewitnesses were received about the same incident. It is the department's practice for the dispatchers to transcribe the calls into a "ticket" that officers receive while on patrol with details about 911 calls. Officers

Page 3

Henderson and Brown received reports of the three subsequent 911 calls to their "ticket" in real-time.

Each caller described the assailant as a black male wearing a dark hoodie and blue jeans. At least two callers also described the victim as a black female, possibly with light skin. A witness described the female as wearing a purple shirt. More than one caller also described her outer wear. In addition to the 911 reports of the assault, one caller relayed that he believed that the male subject may be armed. One 911 caller asked dispatch if he should intervene. He was told not to do so. At least two of the callers observed the man push or hold the woman against a building, and one said that the man had the woman in a choke hold. There were no reports that any witness saw the male subject with a gun.

Other officers who patrol the same area also heard the dispatch call and they also responded.

Officers Henderson and Brown drove to the area of North Broadway and De Soto. When these officers arrived a few minutes later, they saw a black male wearing a black hoodie near a Saveway Foods store, and they observed the man walk hastily northbound on North Broadway away from the intersection of North Broadway and De Soto. Officer Henderson saw a woman at the intersection wearing a purple shirt and standing about 30 feet from the man. The man, who was later identified as defendant Sacorey Clark, had his hands in his pockets. Clark was the only person of the five or six people present who matched the description that officers received from dispatch. Officers curbed their vehicle behind Clark in front of the Saveway Foods.

Officer Henderson observed that Clark was looking back at them as he walked away with his hands in his pockets. Based on his experience, Officer Henderson believed Clark to be the possible assailant because of his demeanor, coupled with the description and the position of his

Page 4

hands. Officer Henderson also believed that Clark was attempting to flee. Officers did not communicate with anyone else at the scene.

The uniformed officers approached Clark and asked him to take his hands out of his pockets. Clark complied. Officer Henderson explained to Clark that they were investigating an assault call based on information from 911. Officer Henderson asked Clark to put his hands in the air, which Clark did do. They approached him and patted him down for weapons. Officer Henderson began his pat down search at Clark's waistband, which was his common practice. Officer Henderson felt the outline of what he believed to be a weapon in Clark's pants. Officer Henderson handcuffed Clark and continued the search. He thereafter seized a small handgun from Clark's right pants' pocket.

Officer Brown advised Clark of his Miranda rights in the presence of Officer Henderson. Officer Brown told Clark the following:

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You have the right to a lawyer and to have him or her with you while you are being questioned. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you so desire. You can decide at any time to exercise these rights and not answer questions or make any statements."

And then, "Do you understand these rights and do you wish to make a statement?"

Clark told officers that he understood his rights. Officer Brown asked him if he was a convicted felon. Clark said that he was. Officers arrested Clark for unlawful use of a weapon, and they conducted a further search of him incident to the arrest. Officers found a small bag containing what they believed to be narcotics. They also conducted a computer check to confirm that Clark was a convicted felon.

Officer Lorenza Clark also responded to the scene as did other officers. Officer Clark transported defendant Clark to the North Patrol holdover where he said he wanted to make a

Page 5

written statement. Prior to making the written statement, Clark was advised of his Miranda rights again by way of the police department's form. See (Gov't Ex. 1). Officer Brown arrived at the police station and witnessed Clark sign and write his initials on the form with an "S.C." at the end of each sentence explaining his rights. It reads, in part:

I understand that I have the right to remain silent.
I understand that anything I say can and will be used against me in court.
I understand that I have the right to a lawyer and have him/her with me while I'm being questioned.
I understand that if I cannot afford to hire a lawyer one will be appointed for me before any questioning, if I so desire.
I understand that I can decide at any time to exercise my rights and not answer any questions or make any statements.

Clark affirmed that he understood his rights and he penned a statement.


Motion To Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 30 and 34)

A. The Court Has Personal Jurisdiction Over Clark And Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over The Case

Clark claims two jurisdictional defects in which he attests that: 1) the Indictment fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and 2) there is no subject matter jurisdiction over him. Clark further contends that the United States is a corporate entity and, therefore, is not a proper party plaintiff due to a lack of corpus delecti. Additionally, under the heading, "Facts Must Stand As True In Both Private And Public Record," defendant contends that the United States lacks "sufficient facts and only provides tactics[.]" His argument as to "facts and tactics" is difficult to discern. The government has presented facts at an evidentiary hearing held on November 18, 2016, albeit after defendant filed his motion. Clark also had an opportunity to cross examine the witnesses against him and to present his own evidence. As such, this point should be denied.

Page 6

Moreover, the court has "personal jurisdiction over [the defendant] by virtue of [the defendant] having been brought before it on a federal indictment charging a violation of federal law." United States v. Marks, 530 F.3d 799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008). See also, United States v. Stuart, 689 F.2d 759, 762 (8th Cir. 1982); United States v. James, 328 F.3d 953 (7th Cir. 2003)(dicta); United States v. Toader, 409 Fed. Appx. 9, 2010 WL 4780362 (C.A. 7 (Ill.)). The court also has subject matter jurisdiction in this case. "[T]here can be no doubt that Article III permits Congress to assign federal criminal prosecutions to federal courts." Hugi v. United States, 164 F.3d 378, 380 (7th Cir. 1999). According to 18 U.S.C. § 3231, "[t]he district courts of the United States shall have original jurisdiction, exclusive of the courts of the States, of all offenses against the laws of the United States." The Eighth Circuit has noted "[p]ursuant to section 3231, federal district courts possess original jurisdiction over all violations of federal...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT