United States v. Henley, No. 13-1894 (8th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendants Henley, Smith, Elkins, Fry, Robinson, and Peteet pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy and various counts of violent crime in aid of racketeering in connection with their involvement in a motorcycle gang. Defendants appealed on numerous grounds. The court concluded that the evidence was sufficient to convict defendants of the racketeering conspiracy and various substantive counts; the judge sitting in the Eastern District of Missouri had jurisdiction to authorize a wiretap of a cell phone located in Illinois; the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting recorded conversations; the district court did not abuse its discretion by not submitting the case with a special verdict form requiring that the jury unanimously find which predicate acts were attributable to any one of the defendants; the omission of the "substantial step" language in the jury instructions did not affect Robinson's substantial rights; the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of an uncharged crime where it was relevant to establish both the continuity of the conspiracy and the common purpose underlying Robinson's acts; Smith failed to show that the district court erred by failing to sever his case; the district court did not clearly abuse its discretion in finding an affidavit which claimed that another person besides Peteet shot the victim at Bennigan's where it was unreliable and inadmissible; the district court did not plainly err in excluding the testimony of a witness's wife since Peteet failed to lay an evidentiary foundation; and the evidence supported the district court's application of the leadership enhancement under U.S.S.G. 3B1.1 to Peteet's sentence. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.