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Armed Robbery-Related Fourth Amendment Issue, and Other Criminal Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on May 11, 2010 1:30 PM

In US v. Adams, No. 08-3920, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's firearm possession conviction, holding that 1) how defendant used and controlled the weapon under similar circumstances was directly relevant to the charged offense; 2) because defendant argued that the testimony at trial changed the date of the offense, not the offense charged, no constructive amendment to the indictment occurred; 3) the properly admitted evidence established both defendant's dominion and control over the location where the firearm was found out in the open as well as his dominion and control over the weapon itself; and 4) the district court did not clearly err in finding that the prosecution's explanations for its peremptory strikes were race-neutral.

Loefer v. US, No. 09-1651, involved a drug conspiracy prosecution, in which the Eighth Circuit affirmed the denial of defendant's motion for relief from judgment under 28 U.S.C. section 2255.  The court of appeals held that prior counsel's testimony from the evidentiary hearing indicated that his decision not to object to the relevant portions of the presentence report was a well-reasoned, tactical decision, and thus prior counsel's representation was not ineffective.

In US v. Muhammad, No. 09-2699, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction for aiding and abetting the armed robbery of a credit union, on the grounds that 1) the police's pat-down search stayed within the bounds of Terry, and the Fourth Amendment permitted the police to remove an object from defendant's pocket; and 2) the police had probable cause to believe that the cash protruding from defendant's wallet was evidence of the robbery.

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