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United States v. Alloway

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

December 2, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Pamela Michelle Alloway, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          John T. Maughmer United States Magistrate Judge.

         Presently pending before the Court are Defendant's Motion to Suppress Physical Evidence [Doc. 38] and Defendant's Motion to Suppress Statements [Doc. 39], filed by defendant Pamela Alloway (“Alloway”) on April 8, 2019. On June 24 and September 9, 2019, the undersigned held evidentiary hearings on Alloway's motions. Alloway was present for both hearings and was represented by her counsel, Kent Gipson. The government was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Smith. At the hearings, testimony was provided by Alloway as well as Travis Cochenour, Ronald Long, and Jeremiah Bragg with the Nodaway County (Mo.) Sheriff's Office. Additionally, the following exhibits were admitted into evidence

Number

Description

Gov't #1

Photograph

Gov't ##2-3

Search warrant affidavits

Gov't #4

Body cam footage

Gov't #5

Miranda waiver

Gov't #6

Interview recording

Def't ##1-12

Photographs

         On the basis of all the evidence adduced at the evidentiary hearing, the undersigned recommends denial of Alloway's motions and submits the following proposed findings of facts and proposed conclusions of law.

         PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT [1]

         1. In April of 2018, Travis Cochenour and Jeremiah Bragg were road deputies with the Nodaway County, Missouri Sheriff's Office. Tr. (I) at 3-4.

         2. In April of 2018, Ronald Long was a sergeant detective with the Nodaway County, Missouri Sheriff's Office. Tr. (I) at 21, 26.

         3. On April 1, 2018, Dep. Cochenour and Dep. Bragg were dispatched to the residence at 24794 350th Street in Barnard, Missouri, to assist Jennifer Rhoderic - an investigator with the Missouri Division of Family Services (“DFS”) - who was performing a welfare check at the address based on a hotline call. Tr. (I) at 4-6, Tr. (II) at 5-6, 13-14, 47.

         4. Prior to arriving at the address, Ms. Rhoderic briefed the two deputies. Tr. (I) at 6.

         5. According to Ms. Rhoderic there was an allegation of drug activity in the home, verbal abuse of children, the presence of weapons, and that both adults living at the house were convicted felons. Tr. (II) at 18-19, 49.

         6. Upon arriving at the 350th Street address at 10:36 p.m., the two deputies and Ms. Rhoderic knocked on the front door and Alloway answered. Tr. (I) at 6, Tr. (II) at 19, 24.

         7. Ms. Rhoderic told Alloway that DFS had received some allegations and she needed to speak with Alloway's children. Tr. (I) at 6, Tr. (II) at 25, 51, 59.

         8. Alloway invited the two deputies and Ms. Rhoderic into the residence. Tr. (I) at 7, Tr. (II) at 25, 59.

         9. Ms. Rhoderic and Dep. Cochenour went into the house, while Dep. Bragg remained outside. Tr. (I) at 7.

         10. Upon entering the house, Dep. Cochenour observed multiple rifles (“long guns”) leaned up against a door. Tr. (I) at 9, Tr. (II) at 30, 42.

         11. The guns were later identified as a .308 caliber Winchester rifle, a .243 caliber rifle, and a .22 caliber rifle. Tr. (I) at 9-10.

         12. About 30 to 45 minutes after Dep. Cochenour arrived at the house, the father of Alloway's children - Richard Shane Culp - arrived at the residence. Tr. (I) at 12.

         13. Dep. Cochenour had a brief conversation with Mr. Culp and learned that Mr. Culp was a convicted felon. Tr. (I) at 12, Tr. (II) at 33.

         14. Mr. Culp also informed Dep. Culp that he had another gun in the safe in his bedroom. Tr. (I) at 13.

         15. However, Mr. Culp refused to unlock his gun safe for Dep. Cochenour. Tr. (I) at 13, II 44.

         16. Thereafter, Dep. Cochenour placed Mr. Culp under arrest. Tr. (I) at 13, Tr. (II) at 33.

         17. Dep. Cochenour had Dep. Bragg come into the house and take custody of Mr. Culp. Tr. (I) at 14.

         18. Dep. Cochenour asked Alloway about the firearms in plain sight and Alloway acknowledged that she knew of their presence in the house. Tr. (II) at 6.

         19. Dep. Cochenour asked Alloway if she had had her gun rights restored and she said no. Tr. (II) at 68.

         20. Alloway was placed under arrest. Tr. (II) at 6-7.

         21. Dep. Cochenour then contacted the county prosecutor to request a search warrant for firearms in the safe ...


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