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United States v. Waloke

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 16, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee,
September Waloke, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from United States District Court for the District of South Dakota - Pierre

          Submitted: November 16, 2018

          Before COLLOTON, SHEPHERD, and STRAS, Circuit Judges.

          COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

         A jury convicted September Waloke of harboring or concealing a person from arrest, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1071. The district court[1] denied Waloke's post-trial motion for judgment of acquittal or new trial, and sentenced her to three months' imprisonment. Waloke appeals the denial of her motion, and we affirm.


         The case arises from efforts by law enforcement to apprehend one Tyson LeCompte, who absconded from custody while on a furlough from jail to attend a funeral in October 2016. While LeCompte was awaiting sentencing on a federal drug conviction, a magistrate judge released him to attend the funeral of his aunt. LeCompte left the county jail on the morning of October 19 with orders to return by 6:00 that evening. He went to the residence of Erica Condon to pick up clothes that his ex-girlfriend, Carlee Condon, brought from another location. Erica and Carlee are daughters of Waloke and Everett Condon. According to LeCompte, Waloke was also at Erica's residence on the morning of October 19, and he had a conversation with her then.

         LeCompte attended the funeral and burial, but then decided not to return to jail and instead left with a cousin. LeCompte and the cousin spent the afternoon smoking methamphetamine and drinking alcohol. LeCompte eventually called Carlee Condon to pick him up, and they attended a party until about 3:00 a.m.

         When LeCompte failed to return to jail by the appointed time, the magistrate judge issued an arrest warrant. The Marshals Service received information that LeCompte might be staying with Waloke and Everett Condon, so investigators searched the Waloke-Condon home, but did not find LeCompte. They informed Waloke and Condon that there was a warrant for LeCompte's arrest, and that the couple should not assist him in avoiding apprehension. Waloke assured the deputy marshals that LeCompte would not stay with them, because her daughter Carlee was no longer in a relationship with LeCompte, and that Carlee and LeCompte were not on good terms. Waloke did not disclose that she, LeCompte, and Carlee were together at Erica's residence that morning.

         After the deputy marshals departed the Waloke-Condon house on the evening of October 19, LeCompte and Carlee Condon arrived at the house between 5:00 and 7:00 a.m. the next morning. According to LeCompte, he entered the home through a window in Carlee's room to avoid detection by the family. He claimed then to have spent most of October 20 sleeping in the bedroom, leaving only briefly to watch television and smoke a cigarette outside. He acknowledged that after he returned from smoking, he left his shoes inside the house near the front door. He testified that he did not speak with anyone other than Carlee Condon while in the house.

         Braxtyn Garreau, LeCompte's cousin, testified that on October 20, she attempted to contact LeCompte by calling a telephone number from which he had called her during the funeral. Waloke answered the call. Garreau asked Waloke if LeCompte was still at her house; Waloke responded that LeCompte and Carlee were sleeping at Waloke's house. Garreau asked Waloke to tell LeCompte that he should be prepared to leave, because she planned to pick him up later that night to flee to Rapid City.

         On the night of October 20, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe law enforcement authorities received a tip that LeCompte was staying at the Waloke-Condon home. Sergeant Jeremy Reede went to the house with two other officers and a warrant for LeCompte's arrest.

         Reede knocked on the front door and waited for just under a minute. Waloke opened the door, and Reede asked her whether she had seen LeCompte or Carlee. Waloke said that she had not. Reede then asked for consent to search the house; Waloke responded that LeCompte was not there. Reede again requested consent to enter the house, but Waloke ignored the request, said that she needed to get back to the stove, and began walking toward the kitchen. Reede followed her into the house and asked again whether he could look for LeCompte. Waloke turned to Everett Condon and said, "He's not here. Is he, Everett?" Everett responded that he had not seen LeCompte. Reede asked once more to search the house, and Waloke then gave consent.

         After Reede looked in a few rooms, he noticed Carlee Condon leaving another room and shutting the door behind her. Reede entered that room and saw a neatly-made bed with a lump in the mattress. Reede lifted the mattress and discovered LeCompte hiding between the mattress and box spring. He instructed LeCompte to come out from ...

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