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United States v. Young

December 04, 2002


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 01 CR 052--Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, Judge.

Before Bauer, Posner, and Easterbrook, Circuit Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bauer, Circuit Judge.


On March 19, 2001, the federal government charged the Defendant, Roy Young, under a three-count indictment; count 1 charged Young with kidnaping Beatrice Patrick on or about January 14 to 18, 2001, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201; count 2 charged him with interstate domestic violence against Patrick on or about January 14, 2001, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2261(a)(1) and (b)(3); and finally, count 3 charged Young with unlawfully using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to the commission of a crime of violence on or about January 14, 2001, in contravention of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A). Young was later charged under a Superseding Indictment, alleging the same three offenses, though altering the wording in count 2 slightly.

A jury found Young not guilty of the kidnaping charge in count 1, but found him guilty of interstate domestic violence and unlawful use of a firearm under counts 2 and 3. The district court sentenced Young to consecutive five-year terms of imprisonment for counts 2 and 3. Young raises four issues on appeal: 1) whether the district court abused its discretion by admitting testimony from the government's expert regarding common patterns among domestic abuse victims; 2) whether the district court erred in admitting Patrick's grand jury testimony under Rule 801(d)(1)(A) of the Federal Rules of Evidence; 3) whether the government sustained its burden of proof that Young used or carried a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A); and finally 4) whether the district court abused its discretion in its response to a question from the jury while it was deliberating. We affirm the decision of the district court.


A. Events Prior to and Surrounding January 14, 2001

Young and Patrick began dating in 1989, when Young was fifteen years old and Patrick was seventeen years old. During their ten-to eleven-year relationship, the couple had three children but never married. The relationship was marred by domestic violence, and in April of 2000 Patrick obtained an Order of Protection against Young. Though it appears the relationship was an off-and-on arrangement, the two were at least in touch in January of 2001, when Patrick sent word to Young that she needed money from him. At that time, Patrick lived in the Altgeld Gardens housing development in Chicago, Illinois, while Young resided in Michigan City, Indiana.

On the evening of January 14, 2001, Young drove with a friend, Forknewin Sidney, and two others from his home in Michigan City to the Altgeld Gardens development. After dropping Sidney off at Sidney's mother's home, Young located Patrick at Theresa Miller's home, a neighbor of Patrick's. In addition to Patrick, Young also found George Terry present. Patrick previously had told Terry that if Young caught the two of them together, he would kill them both.

When Young arrived at the apartment, he became visibly agitated at Terry's presence. Young kept one hand in his pocket, which apparently contained a heavier object. Terry fled the apartment, and Young proceeded upstairs and confronted Patrick by grabbing her and asking whether she had been "messing around" with Terry. This argument escalated and Young punched Patrick near her eye and told her to leave with him. The two eventually tumbled down the stairs from the second floor of Miller's home while struggling. Miller and her nephew broke the two apart and ordered both of them to leave, for fear of damage to Miller's apartment. Patrick pleaded with Miller to allow her to stay because Patrick said she could not breathe, but Miller insisted that she leave.

The argument continued outside, and Patrick eventually entered Young's car and drove to a nearby wooded area, where Patrick's car was parked. Once there, Young continued to yell at Patrick and used a car jack to smash the front passenger window of her car. Patrick also testified before the grand jury that Young said "Don't play with me" and "I'll kill you" at this time. Young then drove both of them back to Patrick's apartment and proceeded upstairs into her bedroom, where the couple's three children were present. Young told the children to get out of the room and told Patrick that she was coming with him, but Patrick refused. The two continued to argue, with Patrick refusing to go until Young picked up a plastic milk crate and threatened to hit Patrick if she did not go. Patrick eventually left the apartment with Young and got into his van.

Young then drove Patrick, Sidney, and his two other friends to Michigan City, Indiana. Though Patrick testified at trial that she was not "forced" to leave with Young, she testified before the grand jury that she feared for her life if she did not go with him. During the drive to Indiana, Patrick held her head as if in pain and spoke to no one, except to ask for a cigarette on one occasion. When they arrived at Young's apartment, Patrick walked straight into his bedroom with Young close behind. Once inside, Young began beating Patrick with his fists, kicking her, and choking her. This scenario replayed itself off and on over the ensuing two to three hours. On at least one occasion, Patrick called out to Young's friends, who were in the other room, but no one intervened. Patrick did not leave the bedroom that first night.

B. January 15-17, 2001

In fact, Patrick went nowhere over the next four days; Young kept her in the apartment, continued to beat her, and threatened to kill her. Young allowed Patrick to go into the bathroom and living room but not to leave the apartment. Patrick was able to phone her employer at some point by sneaking a call with Young's cellular phone, but she did not call the police. She had never been to the apartment and apparently did not know where she was. Young also kept two pit bulls in the apartment, which got loose at one point and forced Patrick to jump behind a stereo speaker for safety.

During these four days, Young's friends apparently continued to stay in the apartment. At one point, Sidney witnessed Young walk out of the bedroom (where Sidney had heard Young beating Patrick) with a gun in his waistband. Young asked Sidney to hide the gun for him, but Sidney refused. At trial, Patrick testified that Young never had a gun, but before the grand jury she recounted that he began loading bullets into the gun while in the bedroom and that he struck her in the face with it.

C. January 18-19, 2001

After four days of abuse, Patrick convinced Young to drive her back to Chicago so that she could sign some papers at work, pick up her paycheck, and see her children. Just as on the trip to Indiana, Young took Sidney and two other friends with him as he drove Patrick back to her grandmother's apartment in Altgeld Gardens. Once inside, Patrick locked the door and called 911, telling the operator that she had been kidnaped for several days and just released. Young banged on the door to gain entry, which the 911 operator heard over the phone. Patrick also made a second call to 911 and gave a description of Young and his van, told the operator that she had been held against her will, and said that Young had a gun.

After calling 911, Patrick called her aunt, Shirley Fields, and pleaded with Fields to come and get her. Patrick told Fields that Young tried to kill her and that she ran from him. Fields could hear Young banging on the door outside and swearing at Patrick. Fields arrived at the apartment shortly thereafter but did not see Young anywhere. Fields found Patrick in her grandmother's apartment with two black eyes, a cut mouth, swelling on her head, and marks on her neck where Patrick said Young choked her. Fields also saw blood all over Patrick's clothing.

Fields took Patrick to nearby Jackson Park Hospital, where Patrick informed the attending nurse and doctor that she had been kidnaped and beaten by Young, including the fact that Young struck her in the face with a gun. Patrick also told them that she lost consciousness at one point and was forced to have sex. The medical staff noted bruising and tenderness on her head, eyes, forehead, cheek, chin, neck, and back.

That evening FBI agents interviewed Patrick in the hospital and took photos of her injuries. Patrick told them Young forced her to go to Indiana with him, that he beat her, and that she went with him because she thought he had a gun by the way he held his hand in his pocket. She also informed them that he threatened her with the gun while in Indiana on several occasions and hit her in the face with it. Police officers found Sidney that evening and interviewed him as well. Sidney later told Young of the interview, at which time Young instructed Sidney not to tell anyone about the gun.

On January 19, 2001, FBI agents went to Young's apartment, but he was not home. Upon seeing the police, Christine Smith, a friend of Young's, called to warn him, and Young subsequently spent the night at her home. The police searched Young's home and recovered forty-three bullets of various calibers but no gun. The next day, Young agreed to sell Smith's boyfriend ...

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