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United States v. Peoples

250 F.3d 630 (2001)

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United States v. Peoples

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

250 F.3d 630 (2001)

Facts

Xavier Lightfoot and Cornelius Peoples (defendants) were charged with robbing a federally insured credit union. Jovan Ross, Lightfoot’s roommate, cooperated with law enforcement in searching their shared residence to recover items stolen during the robbery. After Lightfoot and Peoples learned of Ross’s cooperation with law enforcement, Ross was found murdered. At trial, the government (plaintiff) sought to introduce the testimony of Agent Joan Neal to interpret phone conversations between Lightfoot and Peoples. During her testimony, Agent Neal stated multiple times that Lightfoot and Peoples were using coded language and slang to discuss hiring a hit man to kill Ross. Ultimately, Lightfoot and Peoples were convicted of the charges. On appeal, they argued that the trial court erred in admitting Agent Neal’s testimony as lay opinions.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wollman, C.J.)

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