February 28, 2018
from the United States District Court for the Central
District of Illinois. No. 15-cr-40023-001-Sara Darrow, Judge.
Manion, Sykes, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.
Hampton was caught breaking into a trucking business and
later confessed to robbing a nearby post office as well. He
was charged in a four-count indictment. He then entered a
conditional guilty plea and was sentenced to 132 months'
imprisonment. Hampton reserved his right to appeal two issues
that he now presents, arguing: (1) that robbing a person in
lawful custody of United States property, see 18
U.S.C. § 2114(a), is not a "crime of violence"
under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), and (2) that his motion to
suppress his recorded confession should have been granted
because he was questioned after he invoked his right to
counsel. We affirm the judgment because Hampton's first
argument is foreclosed by our precedent, and his second is
meritless because Hampton did not clearly express a present
desire to consult with counsel before talking with law
January 24, 2015, Hampton robbed a post office in Taylor
Ridge, Illinois, at gunpoint. The employees handed over $34
and seven books of stamps worth $68.60. Hampton also took the
employees' wallets. A month later, he was arrested after
breaking into Mack Trucking in Viola, Illinois. When
sheriff's deputies searched Hampton's home, they
found three firearms that he was not allowed to possess
because of a prior felony conviction. Two of the guns had
arresting Hampton, the deputies took him to the Mercer County
Sheriff's Office. Deputy Eric Holton, Deputy Dusty
Terrill, and Deputy Jessie Montez sat down to talk with
Hampton. Terrill first gave an introduction and informed
Hampton that they were recording the conversation. Hampton
interjected and said: "Actually, I want to change that.
I haven't even gotten a chance to get a lawyer or
point, Terrill left the room to turn off the video recorder
and then, according to Holton's uncontradicted testimony
at the suppression hearing, went back into the room and
explained to Hampton why they wished to record the
Miranda process. Holton and Terrill left the room
and discussed for five to ten minutes whether Hampton had
invoked his right to counsel. They concluded that he had not.
The officers then returned and, with the recorder still off,
advised Hampton of his rights. At some point during that
discussion, Hampton said: "Maybe I should have a
lawyer." Terrill explained that Hampton had the right to
have an attorney present. Holton did not recall exactly what
Hampton said in response, but he testified that he and his
colleagues interpreted it as permission to continue the
interview and record it. Hampton does not contest that he was
informed of his rights, and that he agreed to proceed with
the interview without counsel.
recording resumed. After Terrill read Hampton his
Miranda rights, Hampton signed a form saying he
understood those rights and waived them. Hampton then
confirmed that he had not been threatened or received any
promises while the recording was off. Hampton confessed to
stealing scrap metal, copper tubing, and wires from empty
houses and an old school, but he denied robbing the post
office. After a laborious ninety minutes of questioning,
Hampton confessed to the post office robbery.
jury indicted Hampton for robbing federal property,
see 18 U.S.C. § 2114(a), brandishing a firearm
during a crime of violence, see 18 U.S.C. §
924(c)(1)(A)(ii), being a felon in possession of firearms,
see 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), and possessing
stolen firearms, see 18 U.S.C. § 922(j).
trial Hampton moved to dismiss the § 924(c) charge
because, he argued, robbery of federal property is not a
crime of violence since it can be accomplished by
"intimidation." The district judge denied the
also moved to suppress his confession. Hampton contended that
he unequivocally invoked his right to counsel by saying
"Actually, I want to change that, I haven't even
gotten a chance to get a lawyer or anything." The
district judge denied the motion because she found the
entered into a plea agreement but reserved his right to
appeal the denial of his ...