ILNews

7th Circuit affirms sentences for bank robbing couple

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions and sentences of a boyfriend and girlfriend on bank robbery convictions, finding the boyfriend waived his appeal of his sentence and the jury instructions were correct in the girlfriend’s trial.

Jorge Quintero and Claudia Martinez were indicted on charges of bank robbery by force, violence or intimidation, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and knowing possession of a firearm and ammunition as an illegal alien. Quintero was also charged with unlawful entering and Martinez was charged with remaining in the U.S.

Martinez drove Quintero to the bank and parked her van in an adjacent parking lot. She claimed to not know he was going to rob the bank, but after Martinez jumped in the van after robbing the bank, he had a gun, mask, and money and she led police on a chase before crashing. Next to her in the front seat was a ski mask, wig in a purse, and a gun.

Quintero pleaded guilty to all charges and was supposed to receive a three-point deduction in his sentence for accepting responsibility, but the probation office revised his pre-sentence investigation report and removed the reduction after he perjured himself at Martinez’s trial. It also included a two-point enhancement for obstruction of justice.

In United States of America v. Jorge Quintero, a/k/a Samuel Munoz and Claudia Andrade Martinez, Nos. 09-2715, 09-2788, Quintero argued the government breached the terms of the plea agreement. The 7th Circuit judges found Quintero waived his right to appeal. Even if he hadn’t agreed to a waiver of appeal in his guilty plea, it was Quintero who first broke the terms of the agreement when he perjured himself at Martinez’s trial and obstructed justice.

“Quintero made his own bed by choosing to commit perjury, no matter his alleged intentions, and now he must lie in it,” wrote Judge Michael Kanne.

Martinez challenged her convictions and sentence, claiming the District Court erred by providing instruction No. 20 on the issue of accomplice liability to the jury over her objection. She argued instruction No. 19 conflicted with No. 20, misstated the law, misled the jury, and prejudiced her.

Instruction No. 19 was a typical aiding and abetting jury instruction; No. 20 said if a person knowingly assists in the escape phase of a bank robbery, she is guilty of aiding and abetting bank robbery, even if she is unaware of the bank robbery until she begins assisting in the escape phase of the bank robbery. Driving a getaway car is participating in the escape phase of a bank robbery.

She believed the instructions conflicted because No. 19 exculpates a person that provides assistance but has no knowledge of the crime. But the judges agreed with the government that the jury instructions were correct statements of the law.

“Because Martinez knowingly and willfully participated in the escape phase of the bank robbery by driving the car in an obvious ‘getaway’ fashion, and thereby becoming, if she was not already, a principal in the crime, the district court did not err by giving instruction twenty to the jury,” wrote Judge Kanne.

The judges also upheld her sentence that was enhanced for discharge of a firearm, even though she wasn’t convicted on that count.

“Taking all of the evidence of events leading up to the robbery, the robbery itself, the escape phase, and the materials later found in the van—including a second loaded handgun—the district court was reasonable in concluding that Quintero’s firing of the gun could be attributed to Martinez as an aider and abettor,” wrote the judge.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

ADVERTISEMENT