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United States v. Blakey

607 F.2d 779 (1979)

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United States v. Blakey

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

607 F.2d 779 (1979)

Facts

James Blakey and Louis Berry (defendants) were charged with extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion, in violation of the Hobbs Act. The charges came after an investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Chicago Police Department, surrounding suspected police corruption. Pursuant to the investigation, the shop of a known-criminal, Leo Dyer, was bugged and surveilled. Blakey and Berry entered the shop while off duty, walked into the back of the shop with Dyer, and then came out and filled bags with the store’s merchandise before leaving. At trial, the defense claimed that the merchandise was paid for by Blakey and Berry and was not obtained as a bribe. To rebut this claim, the government (plaintiff) sought to admit statements made by Dyer that implied that Blakey and Berry took the merchandise instead of buying it. The statements were recorded sometime in a 23-minute span between when the defendants left the shop and when a phone call was made by Dyer. The trial court allowed the statements to be admitted as Dyer’s present sense impression of his interaction with the Blakey and Berry. The jury convicted Blakey and Berry. On appeal, Blakey and Berry argued that the statements were not substantially contemporaneous with the event of the defendants leaving and thus the exception should not have applied.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sprecher, J.)

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