United States v. Jett, No. 17-2051 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Two armed men robbed three Indianapolis area check cashing stores while wearing 1970s-themed disguises. An anonymous tip led law enforcement to Jett and McKissick, and a third man, Walker, who officers believed was involved in planning a fourth robbery. The government charged all three men with conspiracy in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. 1951(a). and attempted bank robbery, with respect to the planned fourth robbery. A jury convicted them on both counts. The Seventh Circuit reversed in part, finding error with respect to the sufficiency of the evidence on the attempted-robbery count but otherwise affirmed. Law enforcement arrested McKissick and Walker before they had an opportunity to approach the Credit Union they planned to rob, and Jett never neared the Credit Union that day. With respect to the conspiracy convictions, the judge’s decision not to instruct the jury on an overt-act requirement was proper. The government presented sufficient evidence to convict Walker of conspiracy. He was caught with a coconspirator circling a cash-and-check store, in a stolen car, with a duffle bag and ski mask in the car. When law enforcement attempted to pull Walker over, he evidenced guilt by leading them on a high-speed and dangerous chase.