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United States v. Franklin

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

June 22, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
WARREN E. FRANKLIN, JR., Defendant.

          ORDER

          STEPHEN R. BOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a Report and Recommendation (Doc. #70) on Defendant's Motion to Suppress Custodial Statements (Doc. #55). This Court adopts in part and rejects in part Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth's Report and Recommendation (Doc. #70). Defendant's Motion to Suppress Custodial Statements (Doc. #55) is granted in part and denied in part. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds all utterances before and including Defendant's comment “My daughter was just born last night” are admissible. (Govt. Ex. #2). The remainder of the exchange is inadmissible.

         Defendant is charged in a four-count indictment with being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Defendant seeks an order suppressing custodial statements obtained during his arrest on July 24, 2017.

         Following an evidentiary hearing, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation in which he concluded: Defendant was in custody and had not been read the Miranda warnings at the time the statements were made, and Defendant's statements, although voluntary, were not a product of custodial interrogation. Based on these determinations, the Magistrate Judge recommended that Defendant's motion to suppress be denied.

         Defendant timely filed objections to the Report and Recommendation. This Court reviews the matter de novo. United States v. Lothridge, 324 F.3d 599, 600 (8th Cir. 2003) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)) (When a party objects to a Report and Recommendation concerning a motion to suppress in a criminal case, the court is required to “make a de novo review determination of those portions of the record or specified proposed findings to which objection is made.”).

         I. Statement of Facts

         The Report and Recommendation provides a detailed account of the events related to the investigation and arrest. The Court has considered the transcript of the hearing conducted by the Magistrate Judge (Doc. #66) and carefully viewed the dashboard camera (“dash cam”) footage of the incident (Gov. Ex. #1). For the convenience of the reader, the Court republishes the Government's version of the transcript of the statements at issue:[1]

Officer Davidson: “I don't think he is.”
Defendant (interjecting): “What?”
Officer Davidson: “Impaired.”
Defendant: “Nah”
Officer Pollard: “That's what I do. That's why I'm here. Well, actually, I saw you running.”
Defendant (speaking over the officers' conversation): “Aww man, my daughter was just born last night, man.”
Officer Davidson: “What happened?”
Defendant: “My daughter was just born last night.”
Officer Pollard: “Celebrating with PCP.”[2]
Defendant (speaking over the officers' conversation): “I don't smoke ...

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