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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Monday, May 23, 2016

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Conviction for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announces that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the district court in appeal no.15-1175, United States of America, appellee, v. Lance Majestic House, appellant. 

House argued that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress photographic identification evidence and that the identification tainted subsequent witness identifications of House as the suspect.  

In July 2013, various witnesses saw a man pointing a handgun at another man in central Sioux Falls.  The descriptions of the man with the handgun by different witnesses at each location were nearly identical.  When confronted by police, House ran from the scene.  Law enforcement showed a photo lineup that included House to the eyewitnesses, each of whom chose the photograph of House as matching the man they saw.

In January 2014, House was indicted by a grand jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  At his jury trial, before the Honorable United States District Court Judge Karen E. Schreier, several witnesses made in-court identifications of House as the man they observed holding a firearm in July 2013.  The jury returned a guilty verdict, and House was sentenced to 78 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.          

In today’s published opinion, the federal court of appeals affirmed the district court in all respects.

The case was investigated by the Sioux Falls Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Mammenga prosecuted the case at trial and handled the appeal for the government.

Updated May 23, 2016