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Brown v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

December 10, 2015

DAVID J. BROWN, APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES, APPELLEE

Submitted November 10, 2015.

As Corrected December 15, 2015.

Page 1008

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CF2-3587-12). (Hon. John McCabe, Trial Judge).

Cecily E. Baskir was on the brief for appellant.

Vincent H. Cohen, Jr., Acting United States Attorney at the time the brief was filed, and Elizabeth Trosman, Suzanne Grealy Curt, Thomas P. Swanton, and Jay Apperson, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief for appellee.

Before BLACKBURNE-RIGSBY and THOMPSON, Associate Judges, and REID, Senior Judge.

Page 1009

JUDGMENT

Inez Smith Reid, J.

This case came to be heard on the transcripts of record, the briefs filed, and was argued by counsel. On consideration whereof, and for the reasons set forth in the opinion filed this date, it is now hereby

ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the judgment of the trial court with respect to the conviction of Receiving Stolen Property (" RSP" ), relating to Martha Bass, is affirmed. The trial court's judgment, both as to the RSP conviction regarding Mary Register, and the trafficking conviction are reversed. The case is remanded for resentencing.

After a jury trial, appellant David J. Brown was convicted of two counts of Receiving Stolen Property (" RSP" ), in respect to two iPhones belonging to Martha Bass and Mary Register, in violation of D.C. Code § § 22-3232 (a) -3232 (c)(2) (2001), and one count of Trafficking in Stolen Property (" Trafficking" ), in violation of D.C. Code § 22-3231 (2001). For the reasons stated below, we affirm Mr. Brown's RSP conviction with regard to Ms. Bass's iPhone, but we reverse his RSP conviction with respect to Ms. Register's iPhone and, as a result, his conviction for trafficking must also be reversed. We remand the case for re-sentencing.

FACTUAL SUMMARY

The government presented evidence that on November 11, 2011, Officer Sang Im and Detective George Singletary received a dispatch reporting a robbery in the 1100 block of North Capitol Street; each responded to the call and spoke to

Page 1010

Martha Bass, the complainant. A security guard was also present with Ms. Bass. Ms. Bass told the police officers what had happened and then called her friend, Brittany Trewin. At the time of trial, Ms. Bass was out of the country and Ms. Trewin, one of her housemates at the time of the robbery, testified that Ms. Bass called her, " seemed excited and a little frazzled," " was talking rapidly," and said that she had been walking down the street when someone grabbed her cellphone; she had chased him but the robber ran behind a building. A security guard saw the chase and assisted Ms. Bass in calling the police. Ms. Bass asked Ms. Trewin to help her locate the phone using her computer and the phone's GPS software.

Ms. Trewin was able to locate the phone, and Officer Im and Detective Singletary proceeded to the location, an electronic repair store. Officer Im and Detective Singletary knocked on the door and Mr. Brown responded.[1] The officers explained that they had reason to believe that a stolen iPhone was inside the store. Mr. Brown went to a service counter, typed something on the computer, walked to the back of the store and returned with an iPhone asking, " is this what you're looking for[?]" Ms. Bass later identified the phone as hers.

Detective Singletary asked Mr. Brown when he had received the phone, to which Mr. Brown replied that his son had received the phone from someone earlier that day.[2] When the officer asked for an invoice for the iPhone, Mr. Brown printed out an invoice. Detective Singletary noticed a time-print on the invoice and asked if that time reflected when the invoice was made. Mr. Brown explained that it was when the invoice was printed. About 10 minutes later, Officer Im ...


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