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United States v. Clark

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 6, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ERNEST CLARK, Defendant-Appellant

Argued: January 7, 2014.

Petition for certiorari filed at, 07/25/2014

Page 402

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 403

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 11-CR-30 -- J. Phil Gilbert, Judge.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Jonathan H. Koenig, Attorney, Office of The United States Attorney, Milwaukee, WI.

For Ernest F. Clark, Defendant - Appellant: Mark S. Rosen, Attorney, Rosen & Holzman, Waukesha, WI.

Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and POSNER and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 404

Wood, Chief Judge.

Ernest Clark's string of bank robberies in the Milwaukee area attracted the attention of both state and federal authorities. When both sovereigns decided to prosecute Clark around the same time, the occasionally delicate practices designed to coordinate the timing and pursuit of state and federal prosecutions came into play. Though Clark does not contest the facts underlying his federal convictions, he argues that violations of the Speedy Trial Act and the Interstate Agreement on Detainers require us to reverse his convictions. We conclude, however, that nothing was amiss, and affirm the judgment of the district court.

I

Clark committed six armed bank robberies in the greater Milwaukee area between October 2008 and August 2010. The details of these crimes are irrelevant to his appeal, but the timing of his apprehension and prosecution is important. On October 8, 2010, Milwaukee police officers who knew that Clark was wanted in connection with at least one of the robberies attempted to pull him over. He fled and was apprehended only after a two-mile vehicle chase. Four days later, he was charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with the state felony of eluding an officer, see Wis. Stat. § 346.04(3). That same day, federal authorities brought armed robbery charges against him in the Eastern District of Wisconsin for the last in his string of six bank robberies, namely, that of the Pyramax Bank in Milwaukee on August 18, 2010. On the basis of that complaint, a magistrate judge issued a warrant for Clark's arrest. The FBI used that warrant to file a detainer against him with the Milwaukee County Sheriff, who was holding him in state custody on the eluding charge.

Clark was convicted of the state offense and sentenced to seven months in jail on November 23, 2010. While he was still incarcerated for that crime, a federal grand jury returned a twelve-count indictment against Clark on February 8, 2011, charging him with armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (d), and using a firearm in furtherance of an armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) for each of his six bank robberies. He was arraigned seventeen days later, on February 25. Following a four-day jury trial he was convicted on all counts, and his motion for a judgment of acquittal under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(c) was denied. He was sentenced to 151 months' imprisonment for each armed bank robbery count, to run concurrently, and to 300 months' imprisonment for each § 924(c) count, to run consecutively, for an aggregate sentence of a whopping 1,951 months in prison.

Clark has appealed, but his arguments do not focus on the facts underlying the convictions or the length of the sentence. Instead, he asserts that his prosecution violated the Speedy Trial Act and the Interstate Agreement on Detainers, and that some of the evidence against him was ...


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