United States v. Mayfield, No. 11-2439 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Mayfield was indicted for conspiring with a coworker and a drug courier to rob a stash house controlled by the courier’s suppliers. The conspiracy was a setup; the drug courier was an undercover government agent and the coworker was an informant. The district court barred Mayfield’s proposed entrapment defense. The jury, uninstructed on the entrapment issue, convicted Mayfield. The Seventh Circuit initially affirmed, but granted rehearing en banc and reversed. The elements of the entrapment defense, lack of predisposition and government inducement, are conceptually related but formally and temporally distinct. A defendant is entitled to an entrapment jury instruction if he can show that some evidence supports both elements. When the issue is raised before trial on the government’s motion to preclude the defense, the court must accept the defendant’s factual proffer as true and not weigh it against the government’s counterstatement. Mayfield proffered enough evidence to justify giving the issue to the jury. He provided some facts showing that he was not predisposed to commit the crimes before being approached by the informant, and he narrated a story of substantial government inducement beyond the mere offer of a chance to rob a stash house.