Davis v. Cross, No. 15-3681 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Davis and Haslip entered a Kansas bank. Davis approached Ashenfelter, requesting change. Haslip approached Anderson’s window, drew a handgun, and demanded money. Davis told Ashenfelter to open the drawers at both teller stations. After Ashenfelter opened the teller drawers, Haslip directed the employees to get into the vault. Davis, according to Ashenfelter, “hung back a little bit.” Haslip closed the vault. The employees pressed an alarm. Haslip and Davis fled in a stolen car but were captured. Police recovered $13,000 and two handguns from the car. Davis proposed a jury instruction regarding liability for aiding and abetting Haslip’s use of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 924(c), requiring “knowledge that a gun would be carried or used.” The district court instead provided a general aiding and abetting instruction. Convicted, Davis was sentenced to 322 months’ imprisonment. His conviction was affirmed and his subsequent 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion was unsuccessful. The jury instruction was not raised on appeal or collateral attack. In 2014, the Supreme Court held that aiding and abetting in this context requires advance knowledge that a confederate would use or carry a gun. Davis sought relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241, arguing that he did not have advance knowledge and that Haslip exploited his “diminished capacity.” The Seventh Circuit affirmed denial of the petition. The evidence was sufficient for a jury to find Davis guilty of aiding and abetting. If a defendant continues to participate in a crime after a gun was displayed, the jury can infer that he had advance knowledge that the gun would be used.