U.S. v. Earls

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Case Number: 
No. 11-3347
Decision Date: 
December 27, 2012
Federal District: 
N.D. Ind., Hammond Div.
In prosecution on charge of making false statement in passport application arising out of defendant’s efforts to obtain passport in name of former relative, Dist. Ct. did not err in admitting evidence that defendant was facing up to sixty years in prison on pending state felony charges at time defendant obtained instant passport and used said passport to travel to Panama, where he was eventually arrested on instant charge since: (1) evidence of state charges and their potential sentences was admissible as evidence of defendant’s motive in obtaining passport; and (2) Dist. Ct. otherwise precluded govt. from revealing specifics of state charges. Moreover, while Dist. Ct. erred in admitting, as lay opinion, testimony from two police officials indicating that defendant was man depicted in passport, since said testimony was not based on their personal knowledge, any error was harmless given other overwhelming evidence linking defendant to passport.