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Hammond v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

August 1, 2013

Jamar B. HAMMOND, Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES, Appellee.

Submitted June 26, 2013.

Page 965

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 966

Christine Pembroke, Washington, DC, for appellant.

Ann K.H. Simon, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Chrisellen R. Kolb, and Phillip A. Selden, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for appellee.

Before WASHINGTON, Chief Judge, BECKWITH, Associate Judge, and NEBEKER, Senior Judge.

WASHINGTON, Chief Judge:

Appellant, Jamar B. Hammond, appeals his conviction for one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony (" UPF" ), two counts of possessing an unregistered firearm (" UF" ), and two counts of unlawfully possessing ammunition (" UA" ). On appeal, appellant argues that his two UF convictions should be merged, as well as his two convictions for UA, and that his conviction for UPF should merge with his convictions for UF. Appellant also contends that there was insufficient evidence to establish his constructive possession of the firearms or the ammunition. Finally, appellant argues that the trial judge erred in admitting at trial the ammunition recovered from the apartment appellant shared with his wife because the government failed to call the officers who actually collected and labeled the ammunition. For the following reasons, we affirm, but remand this case with an instruction to vacate one of appellant's two UA convictions.

I. FACTS

On March 26, 2011, the police stopped a vehicle driven by appellant's mother. Appellant was seated in the front passenger seat and his wife and child were in the back seats. Appellant became very agitated and irate as the police officers approached the vehicle and, consequently, was detained in handcuffs. The officers asked appellant's mother for permission to search the trunk and she provided the police with a key to the trunk, leading appellant to become even more irate. Inside the trunk, the officers found a .22 caliber rifle and a .270 caliber rifle. Upon seeing the rifles, appellant's mother became upset and yelled at appellant, " asking him why he put the guns in there." Appellant responded, " I'm not trying to hurt no one. I'm trying to protect my wife. Those joints are not loaded."

Police later searched the apartment appellant shared with his wife and found in the bedroom dresser five rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and one round of .270 caliber ammunition in close proximity to an identification bracelet bearing appellant's name and photograph and a PEPCO bill bearing appellant's name and the address

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of the apartment. The parties stipulated that at the time of the crime, appellant had been convicted of a felony and did not have a ...


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