Tuesday, September 03, 2013

DNA, Post-robbery Possesion of Large Sums of Money Evidence Properly Admitted, Support Bank Robbery Conviction

US v. Brooks, No. 11-3317 (Kan), 8/29/13 (Published). Armed bank robbery conviction affirmed. Held: (1) DNA evidence collected from plastic strip used to tie up teller found on floor of bank properly admitted over defendant’s objection to chain of custody, which went to weight and not admissibility of evidence; (2) DNA expert’s testimony properly admitted, and motion to strike properly denied, where discrepancy between written report and trial testimony was merely “semantic” and failure to disclose report earlier did not constitute Brady violation; (3) admission of evidence that defendant possessed large sums of money several months after the robbery no abuse of discretion, where $240,000 was stolen and defendant had no reported income during the relevant time period; (4) evidence was sufficient to support conviction, especially since defendant was having affair with teller who opened bank vault and defendant called her on cellphone immediately before the robbery, and his DNA was on the plastic strip; and (5) no abuse of discretion in denying motion for new trial where juror failed to disclose during voir dire that he had been subject of IRS investigation, because juror “neither failed to answer honestly a material question nor did he do so intentionally.”