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7th Circuit affirms sentences for bank robbing couple

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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.
 

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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