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UNITED STATES v. CARTER

March 28, 1984

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
LEXIE LITTLE CARTER



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH

The defendant, Lexie Little Carter, was indicted on October 25, 1983 for five counts of bank robbery under 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). A plea of not guilty to said charges was entered on November 4, 1983 before United States Magistrate Ila Jeanne Sensenich. On December 6, 1983, the defendant changed his plea to guilty of all the charges before this member of the court. Subsequent thereto, Carter forwarded letters to the court requesting permission to withdraw his plea of guilty. These letters were ordered to be filed as a motion to withdraw guilty plea and a hearing on said motion was held on December 19, 1983. Subsequent to said hearing, an order was entered permitting the defendant to withdraw his guilty plea and enter a plea of not guilty.

 Thereafter, the defense filed a motion to suppress statements, motion to suppress identification testimony, motion to suppress evidence seized from an automobile, and a motion to sever counts. Hearings were held on said motions on January 4, 5, and 6, 1984. At the conclusion of said hearings, the court ordered findings of fact and conclusions of law from the parties. The defendant's findings of fact and conclusions of law were filed on February 27, 1984; the government's findings of fact and conclusions of law were filed on March 16, 1984.

 After a review of said findings, the defendant's motions, and the transcripts of proceedings, the court will deny the defendant's motions to suppress.

 MOTION TO SUPPRESS STATEMENTS

 The defendant, Lexie Little Carter, has filed a motion to suppress statements asserting that certain statements should be suppressed as the fruits of an unlawful arrest citing Dunaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 60 L. Ed. 2d 824, 99 S. Ct. 2248 (1979). Defendant further alleges that at the time the statements were made he was under the influence of drugs. As a result, his will was allegedly "easily overborne" (Paragraph four of the motion) and he, therefore, implies that the requisite voluntariness was lacking. Also raised as a factor going to the suppression of statements is defendant's contention that interrogation did not cease when defendant requested an attorney and no attorney was provided. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966).

 Defendant further alleges that he was under "considerable emotional and psychological pressure to confess brought to bear on him by the State and Federal officers who questioned him incessantly." Therefore, defendant contends the statements were given as a result of psychological coercion in violation of his due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

 We shall begin with a review of the facts and circumstances incident to the defendant's arrest on September 21, 1983.

 The defendant was arrested pursuant to a valid arrest warrant. The affiant to said warrant, City of Pittsburgh Police Detective Regis Smith, described the basis for said warrant in detail at the hearing (Tr. p. 82). Defendant was identified by Allegheny Detectives James Heyl and Peter Kempton and by City of Pittsburgh Police Detective Smith from a surveillance photograph of a robbery of the Swissvale Branch of Equibank N.A. and had also been identified by Donna Harris, *fn1" a teller at the Pittsburgh National Bank, on Liberty Avenue which was robbed on September 14, 1983.

 On the day of the arrest, September 21, 1983, five Pittsburgh Police Detectives staked-out the defendant's apartment. At approximately 5:15 p.m., defendant drove down Locust Street approaching his apartment. Detective Leonard received a radio transmission from Detective Hynes advising him that defendant was driving on Locust Street. Detective Leonard and his partner, Joseph Figura, proceeded to block the roadway with their car. Detectives Hynes and Smith, also from the City of Pittsburgh, were behind the defendant's car. Carter stopped his car, got out of the car, put his hands on the roof, and was patted down (Tr. p. 29). Detective Hynes read Carter the Miranda warnings, secured the arrest, and read the warrant to Carter while sitting in his car (Tr. p. 149).

 Detective Hynes proceeded to search the car and found a long barrelled pistol (which turned out to be a pellet gun) sticking out from underneath the driver's seat (Tr. p. 29).

 With respect to the above facts and circumstances incident to the arrest warrant, arrest, and seizure of the pellet gun, we find no merit to the defendant's allegations that the arrest was illegal. There is no hint of impropriety in any of the ...


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