Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Parker

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Eastern Division

August 29, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD LEROY PARKER, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LINDA R. READER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The matter before the court is Defendant Richard Leroy Parker's "Motion for Hearing on Miscarriage of Justice/to Reconsider Suppression Ruling" ("Motion") (docket no. 163) asking the court to reconsider its January 9, 2018 Order ("Order") (docket no. 94), which adopted in part and modified in part United States Chief Magistrate Judge C.J. Williams's Report and Recommendation (docket no. 47) and granted in part and denied in part Defendant's "Motion to Suppress Evidence" ("Motion to Suppress") (docket no. 36).

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On August 24, 2017, a grand jury returned an Indictment (docket no. 2) against Defendant. Count 1 charged Defendant with distribution of a controlled substance near a protected location resulting in death, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), 841(b)(1)(C), 851 and 860(a), and Count 2 charged Defendant with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance near a protected location, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), 841(b)(1)(C), 851 and 860(a). See Indictment at 1-3.[1]On November 13, 2017, Defendant filed the Motion to Suppress. On December 6, 2017, Judge Williams issued the Report and Recommendation, which recommended that the court grant in part and deny in part the Motion to Suppress. On January 9, 2018, the court issued the Order.

         On January 16, 2018, a jury trial commenced. See January 16, 2018 Minute Entry (docket no. 116). On January 18, 2018, the jury found Defendant guilty of Counts 1 and 2 of the Indictment. See Jury Verdicts (docket no. 124). On June 26, 2018, Defendant filed the Motion. On July 19, 2018, the government filed a Resistance (docket no. 168). On July 30, 2018, Defendant filed a Reply (docket no. 169). Defendant requests a hearing on the Motion, but the court finds that a hearing is unnecessary. The matter is fully submitted and ready for decision.

         III. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On April 16, 2017, Defendant and E.M. spent the day at the residence of Ashley Ostrander and Donte Richards, mutual friends. Shortly after midnight, Defendant called 911 to report that E.M., his girlfriend, was unresponsive and not breathing. Officers from the Dubuque Police Department and paramedics arrived at the residence. Officers knew from previous encounters that Ostrander and Richards were crack users and that Richards was a crack dealer. As paramedics attempted to revive E.M., officers spoke with Defendant, Ostrander and Richards. Officer Matthew Walker spoke with Defendant, and their conversation was recorded on his body camera.

         Officer Walker spoke calmly and casually to Defendant, gathering basic information about Defendant and the circumstances that led to his finding E.M. not breathing. Defendant was cooperative and provided the requested information, but repeatedly wandered back and forth throughout the residence during the conversation. After the fourth time Defendant turned and walked into a different room, Officer Walker asked Defendant to remain in place, stating, "I just gotta talk to you, so kind of just stay here." Defendant stood still momentarily to answer Officer Walker's next question, but then again walked away towards a different room. Officer Walker followed, and asked Defendant whether E.M. had consumed anything illegal that day. Defendant turned around and answered while walking into another room, telling Officer Walker as he went that E.M. had been using narcotics earlier in the evening. At that point, Officer Walked ask Defendant to come with him to the rear of the residence, where Defendant was questioned and made incriminating statements.

         IV. ANALYSIS

         In the Motion Suppress, Defendant claimed that he was unlawfully seized without probable cause when officers questioned him at the rear of the residence, and that he was subjected to a custodial interrogation without being read his Miranda rights. See Brief in Support of Motion to Suppress (docket no. 36-1) at 3-7. Defendant argued that the court, therefore, was required to suppress his incriminating statements to law enforcement. See Id. at 7. In the Order, the court found that Defendant was not subjected to a custodial arrest, and that, therefore, no suppression was warranted. See Order at 8-12. Rather, the court found that the questioning at the rear of the residence was a lawful Terry stop. See Id. at 7; see also Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 20-22 (1968) (authorizing law enforcement to temporarily detain an individual for an investigatory stop based on reasonable suspicion that criminal activity has been, is being or is about to be committed). The court found that "the information about E.M.'s drug use, particularly when coupled with the knowledge of the drug use of the other occupants at the residence, established reasonable suspicion that criminal activity may have been afoot." Order at 7.

         Defendant now argues that he was subjected to a Terry stop earlier in the encounter, when Officer Walker told him to "just kind of stay here." See Motion at 7. Defendant points out that Officer Walker told Defendant to "just kind of stay here" before he asked Defendant about E.M.'s drug use.[2] See Id. at 5. Defendant argues that without the information about E.M.'s drug use, Officer Walker lacked reasonable suspicion for a Terry stop. See Id. at 10-11. Defendant further argues that the information about E.M.'s drug use must be suppressed, and that the court must, therefore, reverse its decision in the Order and suppress all statements Defendant made to law enforcement. Upon consideration, for the following reasons, the court shall not reverse its decision in the Order.

         A. Seizure

         Defendant argues that "Officer Walker seized . . . Defendant by ordering . . . Defendant to stop walking, and [saying] 'just stay here'" in order to ask him questions. Id. at 3 (emphasis omitted). However, "mere police questioning does not constitute a seizure." United States v. Barry,394 F.3d 1070, 1074 (8th Cir. 2005) (quoting Florida v. Bostick, 501 U.S. 429, 434 (1991)). The relevant inquiry is whether "the questioning is 'so intimidating, threatening, or coercive that a reasonable person would not have believed himself free to leave.'" United States v. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.