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United States v. Leke

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
237 Fed. Appx. 54 (2007)


Facts

The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted Adam Leke (defendant) for bank larceny, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113. The trial evidence established that late one night someone broke into a branch bank's automatic teller machine (ATM) and stole $40,000 from the ATM's cassettes. Only three bank employees, Patsy Hickerson, Shawn Howard, and Leke, had access to the ATM. The physical evidence pointed to an inside job. The previous morning, Leke and Howard together had stocked the ATM with $40,000. Around lunchtime, Leke purportedly went to the ATM himself to fix a printer problem. Howard testified that Leke sometimes spoke of his financial problems and plans to leave the bank. Bank investigator Scott Coggins testified that, when questioned, Howard seemed honest and forthright in denying responsibility for the theft. Hickerson was too short to access the ATM by herself. Coggins and his partner Ronnie Gross detained Leke because he seemed deceptive and his story did not jibe with the investigators' observations. Gross testified that Leke helped him discover the stolen ATM cassettes, but soon thereafter said, "I think I've hurt myself," and refused to cooperate further with the investigators. As part of a plea bargain, Andrew Ward testified that he and Leke devised the scheme for robbing the ATM, and that Ward's cut of the ATM money gave him enough twenty-dollar bills to buy a car for his girlfriend, go on a shopping spree, and still have $8,500 left over at the time of his arrest. Leke testified that he was with Ward on the night in question, and Leke's wife testified that they had $600 in twenties because they recently took out a loan. The jury convicted Leke and he appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McKinley, J.)

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