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Jones v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

September 18, 2014

Joseph Jones, Appellant,
v.
United States, Appellee

Submitted April 3, 2014.

Page 680

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 681

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CF3-21632-10). (Hon. Ann O'Regan Keary, Motions Judge). (Hon. Robert I. Richter, Motions and Trial Judge).

Richard S. Stolker for appellant.

Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Elizabeth H. Danello, Tejpal Chawla, and Margaret Barr, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief for appellee.

Before Glickman and Thompson, Associate Judges, and Reid, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 682

Thompson, Associate Judge:

A jury convicted appellant Joseph Jones of conspiracy to commit robbery, two counts of armed robbery, and obstruction of justice. He appeals his convictions, arguing that (1) the trial court erred when it admitted testimony relaying the statements of an alleged co-conspirator without first determining the existence of a conspiracy in which appellant was a participant; (2) the government's failure to disclose to appellant before trial the transcript of the grand jury testimony of one of the victims violated appellant's due process rights; (3) the trial court erred in not suppressing the identification of appellant by one of the complainants; (4) appellant was deprived of an opportunity to prepare adequately for trial when his trial counsel's representatives were prevented from attending the plea proceeding of the alleged co-conspirator; and (5) the evidence did not support a conviction for obstruction of justice as charged in the superseding indictment. For the reasons explained below, we reject appellant's arguments and affirm all of his convictions.

I.

The government presented evidence at trial showing that on October 22, 2010, Tierra Fenwick and Chauncey Terrell were victims of an armed robbery committed by two assailants. Fenwick, who was carrying a large sum of cash, and Terrell traveled to the Mayfair/Paradise neighborhood, where they planned to purchase marijuana and phencyclidine (" PCP" ). Fenwick asked a man in the neighborhood where she could make the purchases, and he advised her to go see Gary Nichols and a man known as " Tip" or " Tipper." After finding the two men, Fenwick and Terrell purchased marijuana from Tipper. According to Terrell's testimony, when Fenwick was making her purchase, she took out a large wad of cash. When Fenwick asked Nichols about purchasing PCP, he told Fenwick to meet him at an apartment in a nearby building.

Fenwick and Terrell entered the indicated apartment building and knocked on the door of the designated unit, but no one answered the door. Fenwick then called Nichols on his cell phone, and he said he was on his way to the apartment. From inside the building, Fenwick saw two men " with T-shirts tied around their face[s], like ninjas" outside, approaching the front entrance. Before Fenwick and Terrell could leave the building, the two men entered through the back door and " rushed" Fenwick and Terrell. Fenwick testified that, upon seeing his eyes and hearing his voice as he addressed her by her nickname, she recognized one of the men as appellant, whom she had known for ...


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