United States v Hill

Hill appealed his bank robbery and conspiracy convictions. The panel, 2-1, affirmed. The majority held there was sufficient evidence connecting Hill to the bank robbery including similarity in size and skin tone to the accused robber, his leaving the house where the other robbers and most of the cash were found and cell phone records which eliminated all reasonable doubt as to whether Hill or some unknown person was the robber here. The majority held there was variance between the conspiracy charged in the indictment and the smaller conspiracy proved at trial The majority found no prejudice as the ratio of defendants and conspiracies was too low to create prejudice, there was sufficient evidence that Hill conspired with two others to rob the bank and there was no spillover effect as there was no evidence connecting Hill to any of the other robberies alleged nit eh indictment. The majority finally rejected misjoinder, fail to sever and admission of gang evidence arguments for lack of prejudice on the proceeding. The dissent argued that three defendants and six conspiracies created the risk of jury inability to compartmentalize evidence, the gang evidence admitted was inflammatory and irrelevant to Hill’s case and the evidence submitted connecting Hill to the bank robbery was not as compelling as the majority asserts. Thus, the dissent would have remanded for a new trial.