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United States v. Clements

April 14, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
MARVIN D. CLEMENTS, ALSO KNOWN AS MARVIN D. HERRON, ALSO KNOWN AS MARVIN D. CLEMENTS-HERRON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 06 CR 9-Lynn Adelman, Judge.

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

ARGUED FEBRUARY 20, 2008

Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, BAUER, and WOOD, Circuit Judges.

Defendant-Appellant Marvin D. Clements was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), after Milwaukee police officers discovered him sitting in a car with a gun. On appeal, Clements argues (1) that his encounter with the arresting officers constituted an illegal seizure in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights; and (2) that the district court judge violated his due process rights by failing to sua sponte order a competency hearing during trial. For the following reasons, we affirm.

I. Background

On November 4, 2005, at approximately 10:40 p.m., City of Milwaukee police received an anonymous call reporting that a suspicious person had been, and was sitting in a white Oldsmobile with the motor running in front of the caller's house for over four hours. Two officers responded to the call, drove up to the scene, and parked their squad car approximately fifteen to twenty feet behind the white Oldsmobile at the address the caller provided. The officers shined a spotlight on the Oldsmobile and activated their flashing red and blue lights. Clements, the sole occupant of the Oldsmobile, was sitting in the driver's seat.

As the officers approached, Clements turned toward the driver's side window and raised a folded four-inch knife. The officers backed away and ordered Clements to drop the knife and get out of the car. Clements complied, but as he got out of the car, a loaded .22 caliber rifle magazine fell from his lap to the ground. The magazine contained ten cartridges of .22 caliber long rifle ammunition.

The officers conducted a pat-down search of Clements and escorted him to their squad car to ensure their safety. One of the officers then returned to the white Oldsmobile to check for any contraband or weapons. The officers found a .22 caliber long rifle ammunition box with four spent casings and two loaded cartridges in the center console and a .22 caliber long barrel rifle lying across the rear floorboard of the car.

On January 18, 2006, a grand jury indicted Clements for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). On January 10, 2007, Clements's trial attorney, Ann T. Bowe, filed a motion for competency evaluation, which the district court granted. On March 27, 2007, the district court received a forensic report from a licensed clinical psychologist who concluded that Clements exhibited behavior consistent with Antisocial Personality Disorder, but that he was competent to stand trial. Clements did not challenge that report, and on March 30, 2007, the district court found Clements competent to stand trial.

On May 14, 2007, a trial commenced, and on that same day, the jury returned a guilty verdict. On August 3, 2007, the district court sentenced Clements to 48 months' imprisonment.

During his trial and sentencing hearing, Clements repeatedly interrupted the lawyers and the judge with questions and comments. Despite being superfluous and inarticulate, Clements's interjections pertained to what was being discussed at that point in the proceedings or had to do with issues that he perceived to be unresolved. At one point during the sentencing hearing, Clements blamed his life hardships on being born on February 29th, leap day, but later acknowledged the absurdity of such a statement and conceded, "I don't know what the leap year thing is about here." Clements then continued to ramble on in his attempts to gain leniency from the sentencing judge, pointing to factors such as rehabilitation, his children, the environment in which he grew up, the evidence presented at trial, and a somewhat distorted acceptance of the federal prison sentence that awaited him.

II. Discussion

On appeal, Clements makes two arguments. First, he argues that the arresting officers' encounter with him constituted a seizure under the Fourth Amendment, and was unsupported by a reasonable suspicion that he was engaged in any criminal activity. Second, Clements asserts that the district court judge violated his due process rights by failing to order a competency hearing sua sponte in light of his ...


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