United States v. Patterson, No. 16-2119 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Patterson was indicted in 2012 on charges arising from his role in a conspiracy to rob a fictitious drug “stash house.” Following delays resulting from a determination that Patterson was not competent and subsequent efforts to restore Patterson to competency, a trial was held in 2015. Out of the five counts, Patterson was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1) and 846 and being a felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) Patterson was sentenced to the guideline minimum of 168 months incarceration. The Seventh Circuit affirmed his convictions, rejecting his claims of violation of the Speedy Trial Act and his Sixth Amendment speedy trial rights and that the prosecutor improperly bolstered witnesses’ credibility during opening and closing arguments. All of the challenged time periods were properly excluded under the Act. Although the delay was lengthy, it was primarily caused by factors outside the government’s control and was not substantially prejudicial to Patterson given the nature of the evidence against him.The prosecutorial statements did not reflect on the credibility of an individual witness or witnesses but instead on the investigation as a whole. The court vacated his sentencing on the drug count for lack of a specific finding on quantity and remanded for resentencing.