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United States v. Martin

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
866 F.2d 972 (1989)


Facts

The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted Terry Jon Martin and John David Emerson (defendant) on two counts relating to the burglary and attempted burglary of drug stores in New Hope and Frazee, Minnesota. Because the stores sold controlled substances, the offenses were federal crimes under 18 U.S.C. § 2118(b). As to the New Hope burglary, the trial evidence included a police informant's identification of Martin and Emerson as the burglars. The informant's testimony was corroborated by the testimony of several store employees who said they saw Martin and Emerson case the store the day before the burglary. As to the attempted Frazee burglary, the Frazee police chief testified that he briefly detained Martin, who was driving a car in which Emerson was a passenger, after seeing Martin stop the car in front of the store and test the store's lock. The chief let Martin and Emerson go, even though he observed Martin wearing a "booster coat" of the type often used by burglars and thieves to stow stolen goods, and saw that the car contained tools often used to commit burglary. However, when the chief learned that Martin's car was stolen, police detectives obtained search warrants that turned up burglary tools and stolen narcotics in Martin's car and Emerson's house. The jury convicted Martin and Emerson on both counts. On appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Emerson argued that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction on either count.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Henley, J.)

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