United States v. Hart, No. 19-3242 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Hart was charged with robbing two banks by handing tellers notes, then leaving with the cash to board public transportation. One teller inserted a tracking device with the cash. At trial, the government called Chicago Detective Motyka and FBI Agents Lovernick and Yoder to testify about using the tracking device to find Hart and a bank surveillance photo to identify Hart. The government also introduced public-transit records of cards registered to Hart and fingerprints on the demand notes.
Hart argued that he found the cash and the tracking device another way and that law enforcement did not identify him when he was on a certain bus (63) because he had not yet acquired the money and the tracking device. Hart cross-examined Motyka, Yoder, and Lovernick. Before the government rested, Hart asked for a continuance and to recall eight government witnesses, none of whom he had subpoenaed, including Lovernick, Motyka, and Yoder. Hart wanted to ask Yoder about boarding the buses, to impeach the timeline established on direct examination.
In denying Hart’s request, the judge explained that Hart’s cross-examination had gone “well beyond” the scope of direct; “all” of the evidence Hart sought to elicit came out on direct; other evidence was in the record from which Hart could argue to support his theory; and Hart was trying to delay. The Seventh Circuit affirmed Hart’s convictions under 18 U.S.C. 2113(a), upholding denial of Hart’s requests to recall the witnesses.