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UNITED STATES v. HOWARD

February 11, 1977

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Bernard HOWARD, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CURTIN

CURTIN, District Judge.

 Defendant Bernard Howard is presently under indictment for the April 18, 1975 robbery of the Black Rock-Riverside Savings and Loan Association, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ┬ž 2113(a). Defendant has now moved to suppress certain identification testimony and evidence as well as oral statements and other information given to the Buffalo Police and agents of the F.B.I. Defendant also seeks production of certain statements, including grand jury testimony, of the witnesses to this incident.

 A Wade hearing was conducted on June 4, 1976. The hearing was continued on September 13, 1976, when the issue of the voluntariness of statements made by defendant to law enforcement officials was also addressed. Defendant, upon advice of counsel, was not present at either hearing. Counsel indicated that, because identification issues were being considered, defendant had decided that it was to his advantage not to appear at the hearings and that defendant, through counsel, waived his right to be present at the hearings.

 Testimony presented at the suppression hearings revealed the following facts. At approximately 11:15 a.m. on April 18, 1975, the Black Rock-Riverside Savings and Loan Association located on Amherst Street in Buffalo, New York was robbed by a single individual. A bank employee who had observed the robbery and escape reported a description of the robber, the escape vehicle and the vehicle's license plate number to the police. Within one hour of the robbery, Buffalo police apprehended a suspect and vehicle which fit the description reported by the bank employee. The suspect was taken to the bank immediately. Upon arrival at the bank, the suspect, who was handcuffed and surrounded by law enforcement officials, some of whom were uniformed, was observed in show-up fashion by three employees of the bank. All three employees immediately identified the suspect, who was then dressed differently from the individual who had robbed the bank, as the robber. The individual who was so identified was the defendant, Bernard Howard.

 At the time that the defendant was apprehended, he was given proper Miranda warnings by the arresting officer. Defendant initially denied involvement in the robbery, but shortly thereafter defendant made certain admissions to the police with respect to it.

 Following the show-up identification at the bank, defendant was again advised of his Miranda rights. En route from the bank to police headquarters, defendant conversed further with police officials. At police headquarters, defendant was again given Miranda warnings by the Buffalo police. Defendant was then interrogated further by Buffalo police and F.B.I. Agent Joseph Wenger. Defendant made further admissions and he agreed to show these law enforcement officials where the money taken in the robbery was hidden. With defendant's guidance, this money was then recovered.

 Following defendant's return to police headquarters, Attorney James C. Heaney appeared and advised police officials that he had been retained by defendant's mother to represent defendant. Defendant, apparently unaware of arrangements made by his mother, indicated to police that he had no attorney. After some initial disagreement, Attorney Heaney was given the opportunity to speak with the defendant. The hearing record indicates that, to this point, defendant had not requested the assistance of counsel.

 After this conversation with Mr. Heaney, defendant then refused to sign a statement which had previously been taken by the Buffalo police. Apparently no further interrogation occurred at police headquarters.

 Agent Wenger then took defendant to F.B.I. headquarters for processing. Agent Wenger again advised defendant of his Miranda rights. Defendant indicated that he understood the warnings, but defendant refused to sign the standard "Advice of Rights" form.

 During processing at F.B.I. headquarters, defendant's counsel, Mr. Heaney, telephoned Agent Wenger. Mr. Heaney spoke with defendant briefly. Mr. Heaney then advised Agent Wenger that he was not to interview defendant further.

 Following this telephone conversation, Agent Wenger then told defendant:

 
Your attorney doesn't want you to discuss this but I am going to ask you questions anyway and if you don't want to answer, you don't have to, but if you want to, you can.
 
(Hearing Tr. at 107).

 Defendant was not advised further of his right to have counsel present, nor did defendant specifically indicate that he did not wish to have counsel present. In response to Agent Wenger's questions, defendant then made certain admissions concerning his involvement in the bank robbery under investigation. During this interrogation, defendant apparently made no ...


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