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United States v. Magee

December 19, 1958

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CHRISTOPHER LYMAN MAGEE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Author: Schnackenberg

Before SCHNACKENBERG, HASTINGS and KNOCH, Circuit Judges.

SCHNACKENBERG, Circuit Judge.

Charged by indictment with violations of 18 U.S.C.A. ยง 2113(a) and (d), defendant was found guilty by a jury, and was, by judgment of the district court, sentenced to imprisonment, from which judgment he has appealed.

The evidence showed that a man held up the National Bank and Trust Company of South Bend, Lincolnway West Branch (herein sometimes called the South Bend bank) on January 15, 1957. There is no contradiction of this fact nor as to the manner in which the holdup was perpetrated. Several witnesses for the government testified that they had seen the robber and that defendant was that person, although they admitted some inconsistencies between their testimony and the original description of the robber which they had given to the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately after the commission of the crime.

At this point in the governments case, it produced Robert W. Havely and Carol Sullivan, who were permitted, over repeated objections by defense counsel, to testify to facts, which we now summarize.

Havely, office manager of the Reserve Savings and Loan Association, located in Cicero, Illinois, testified that on June 13, 1955, he talked with a man who said he was in a partnership involving a patent for a burglary alarm and that Havely's organization might be interested financially. As the man sat at Havely's desk he withdrew from his umbrella and raincoat a gun which he shoved in the direction of Havely. Havely suggested that they "go in the back room to sign some papers." Havely and the man proceeded into the back room, where the man got behind one of the cages and demanded that Havely hand him the money. Havely handed the man $1500 out of a drawer and out of a safe an additional $1000. He then led the man down into the basement and the man "walked out of the bank."

Havely in the courtroom identified defendant as the man who robbed the Association on June 13, 1955.

Miss Sullivan testified that on August 13, 1956, she was employed as a cashier for the same building and loan association in Cicero, Illinois. Two men walked into that establishment on that date. One of them, whom she identified as the defendant herein, pointed a gun at her. Her testimony proceeded as follows:

"A. He was leaning over the counter pointing the gun at us.

"Q. At whom? A. Well, Mrs. Foster was back with me at the time.

"Q. Was she there when these men walked in the door? A. No, she was sitting at her desk.

"Q. And when did she come around behind the counter at your cage? A. Well, just at the time they pointed the guns at us. She was instructed to come back behind the counter.

"Q. Did either of these two men say anything to you, or say anything to this other teller, in your presence there at that time?

"A. The defendant told Mrs. Foster to get back. She was sitting at the desk and he told her to get back or they would blow her brains out. He directed both of us to get the money out of the safe, and Mrs. Foster said she don't know how, and I said I would, don't hurt us, and the men in the meantime, the tall, thin man, had come to where we were, and I stooped down at the safe and took the money out of the safe and handed it to him. The defendant said get the money out of the drawer and I gave the money out of the drawer and he said, there is another drawer, and in the meantime the first man ...


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