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United States v. Adams

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

April 11, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Neiman Regis Adams, Defendant - Appellant

         Submitted October 23, 2015

Page 318

          Appeals from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul.

         For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee (14-3339): Carol M. Kayser, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Saint Paul, MN; John Kokkinen, Assistant U.S. Attorney, John Marti, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

         Neiman Regis Adams, Defendant - Appellant (14-3339), Pro se, Florence, CO.

         For Neiman Regis Adams (14-3339, 14-3354), Defendant - Appellant: Manvir Kaur Atwal, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office, Minneapolis, MN.

         For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee (14-3354): David W. Fuller, Assistant U.S. Attorney, John Kokkinen, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; Carol M. Kayser, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Saint Paul, MN.

         Neiman Regis Adams, Defendant - Appellant (14-3354), Pro se, Florence, CO.

         Before WOLLMAN, BYE, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

Page 319

          WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.

         Neiman Regis Adams was convicted of armed bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (d), and was sentenced to 240 months' imprisonment. He

Page 320

was also sentenced to a consecutive term of 18 months' imprisonment for violating the terms of supervised released that was imposed following an earlier conviction. He appeals from the district court's[1] denial of his motion to suppress statements that he made during a custodial interrogation, as well as from the sentences imposed by the district court, arguing that they are substantively unreasonable. We affirm.

         I.

         On August 13, 2013, two black men entered the Virginia Cooperative Credit Union (the bank) located in Virginia, Minnesota, and committed an armed robbery. At that time, three tellers and one customer were in the bank. Neither of the men who entered the bank wore a mask. One of the men was armed with a handgun and wore a flat-brimmed baseball cap, a dark, hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, and a lanyard around his neck. That individual pointed his gun at the tellers and the customer, ordering them to lie on the ground, while the other individual walked behind the counters and emptied the tellers' cash drawers. The robbery lasted approximately two minutes, and the men stole approximately $53,000. The local police department, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), investigated the robbery. The police were unable to identify the robbers from any physical evidence left at the scene of the crime, but the robbery was captured on the bank's security cameras from multiple angles. Following a three-day investigation, police arrested Adams on August 16, 2014. That day, police detective Bruce L. Hedstrom met with Adams. After being informed of his Miranda rights, Adams stated that he did not want to answer questions, and Hedstrom terminated the interrogation.

         On August 30, 2013, Hedstrom brought FBI special agent Timothy Ball to the jail, where Ball interviewed Adams. Ball first advised Adams of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), reading aloud an FBI " Advice of Rights" form. After stating each right, Ball asked Adams whether he understood, and Adams indicated that he did. Ball asked Adams to sign his name at the bottom of the form, indicating that he understood his rights, but Adams refused to do so, stating that he did not understand why he was being questioned and that he did not like " dealing with cops." Ball informed Adams that he could refuse to answer questions, could choose to answer some questions but not answer others, and could terminate the interview at any time. Approximately three minutes and forty seconds into the interview, Ball asked Adams if he wanted to answer questions. The two then had the following exchange:

ADAMS: No, I don't think I wanna, you know--
BALL: I'll explain what's going on. We've got you in ...

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