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United States v. Daye

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division

February 23, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DEON DAYE, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LINDA R. READE JUDGE.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION ....................................... 1

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND .................... 2

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW ................................. 2

         IV. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND ....................... 3

         V. ANALYSIS ........................................... 7

         A. Nature of Defendant's Responses ........................ 8

         B. Government Coercion ................................ 9

         C. Totality of the Circumstances .......................... 10

         VI. CONCLUSION ....................................... 12

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The matter before the court is Defendant Deon Daye's Objections (docket no. 38) to United States Chief Magistrate Judge C.J. Williams's Report and Recommendation (docket no. 22) recommending that the court deny Defendant's “Motion to Suppress” (“Motion”) (docket no. 15).

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On December 6, 2016, the grand jury returned a one-count Indictment (docket no. 2) charging Defendant with perjury before the grand jury, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1623. Specifically, Defendant is charged with falsely testifying that (1) he had never met a person named Anthony Hall prior to April 13, 2015, and (2) he had never been in a car with Anthony Hall prior to April 13, 2015. See Indictment at 2. On January 24, 2017, Defendant filed the Motion. On January 27, 2017, the government filed a Resistance (docket no. 17). On February 2, 2017, Judge Williams held a hearing on the Motion. See Feb. 2, 2017 Minute Entry (docket no. 19); see also Motion Hearing Transcript (docket no. 34). At the motion hearing, Defendant appeared in court with his attorney, Jennifer Bonzer. Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa Williams and Emily Nydle appeared on behalf of the government. On February 7, 2017, Judge Williams issued the Report and Recommendation recommending that the court deny the Motion. On February 21, 2017, Defendant filed the Objections. The matter is fully submitted and ready for decision.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         When a party files a timely objection to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, “[a] judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3) (“The district judge must consider de novo any objection to the magistrate judge's recommendation.”); United States v. Lothridge, 324 F.3d 599, 600 (8th Cir. 2003) (noting that a district judge must “undertake[] a de novo review of the disputed portions of a magistrate judge's report and recommendations”). “A judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3) (“The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommendation, receive further evidence, or resubmit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.”). It is reversible error for a district court to fail to engage in a de novo review of a magistrate judge's report when such review is required. See Lothridge, 324 F.3d at 601. Accordingly, the court reviews the disputed portions of the Report and Recommendation de novo.

         IV. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Based on evidence presented at the motion hearing, Judge Williams found the following facts, which are restated verbatim in the Objections:

A few days before March 16, 2016, FBI Safe Streets Task Force Officer (TFO) John O'Brien served defendant with a grand jury subpoena. On the morning of March 16, 2016, defendant awoke at approximately 8:00 a.m. Between the time he woke and about noon that day, he smoked eight marijuana blunts and played video games. Defendant testified he consumed approximately 1/8th of an ounce of marijuana. Defendant has been a regular marijuana user since 2010, last using marijuana around Christmas 2016. Defendant testified that when he smoked marijuana on March 16, 2016, it made him “lazy” and “out of my mind.” When asked what that meant, defendant explained that it made him “feel like my mind is elsewhere” and that he is “not in his normal state of mind.” He testified, though, that he could understand questions and perform normal functions like tying his shoes, using a phone, operating a motor vehicle, and working.
Defendant walked from his residence to the federal court house in Cedar Rapids on the afternoon of March 16, 2016. He met with TFO O'Brien and Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Lisa Williams before he testified. AUSA Williams noted the smell of marijuana and asked defendant if he had used marijuana. Defendant admitted that he had smoked marijuana that morning. AUSA Williams told defendant that he did not have to testify that day and could choose to come back another day when he had not smoked marijuana. Defendant stated that he wanted to testify. AUSA Williams asked defendant if the use of marijuana would affect his testimony. Defendant replied that it would not. Defendant testified at the hearing that he understood the question and thought it was a trick question such that if he had answered in the affirmative it would have gotten him in trouble.
Shortly thereafter, AUSA Williams took defendant before the grand jury to question him. Defendant's testimony began at 2:12 p.m. After the foreperson of the grand jury placed defendant under oath, and prior to asking him any questions, AUSA Williams advised defendant of certain rights and obligations he had before the grand jury.
Q. You have just been sworn by the foreperson of the grand jury and have taken an oath to testify truthfully. Do you understand that oath?
A. Yes.
Q. If you lie or knowingly make a false statement in your testimony before the grand jury, you may be prosecuted for the crimes of perjury or making a false declaration. If convicted of such an offense, you may be sentenced to a ...

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