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United States v. Ward

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
377 F.3d 671 (2004)


Facts

Gregory and Aishauna Ward (defendants) were convicted of crimes related to the robbery of the bank where Mrs. Ward worked. After Mr. Ward was released on bond, Mr. Ward and his sister went to the basement apartment of Kimberly Gardner and her boyfriend, Michael Bryant, who were holding the bag of money stolen from the bank. The bag could not be found, and Mr. Ward, his sister, Gardner, and Bryant stood around the apartment’s kitchen and bathroom area where they had a conversation about the money. Gardner testified at the Wards’ trial that Mr. Ward’s sister said, “I don’t believe he’s getting ready to go to jail for 10 years for something he doesn’t even have,” and that the money was “the money they got when they robbed the bank.” Mr. Ward did not respond. A few minutes later, he said, “Something got to give or else I’m gon’ catch a murder before I go back to jail.” Mr. Ward objected to the admission of this testimony, arguing that it was hearsay. The court overruled the objection and permitted the testimony. Mr. Ward appealed his conviction on that basis.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Flaum, C.J.)

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