Submitted: April 18, 2019
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Arkansas - Hot Springs
COLLOTON, GRUENDER, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.
ERICKSON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Daniels was convicted by a jury of being a felon in
possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). He raises three issues
on appeal, but only one is central to our decision: whether
the district court erred by admitting statements he made
during his state parole revocation hearing related to
possession of the firearm. Because the statements were
properly admitted and the remaining alleged errors are
harmless in light of Daniels' admissions at the hearing,
30, 2017, the Arkadelphia (Arkansas) Police Department
received calls reporting a white female passing counterfeit
$100 bills at multiple businesses in the city. Officers
reviewed surveillance camera footage from the businesses and
observed the woman entering a light-colored Nissan Maxima.
Shortly thereafter, officers located the Nissan in a parking
lot. Corporal James Shearin pulled his squad car behind the
parked vehicle and turned on his lights.
officers approached the Nissan with their weapons drawn.
Inside the vehicle the police found Daniels in the
driver's seat, an unnamed black woman in the passenger
seat, and Freddie Ezekiel in the back seat. They did not
discover the white female suspect in the car or the parking
lot. During their interactions with the occupants, the police
smelled marijuana inside the vehicle. Corporal Shearin
ordered Daniels to exit the vehicle, placed him in handcuffs,
and led him to the rear of the vehicle.
Shearin explained to Daniels why he was being detained and
asked him where the white female was. Daniels responded that
they dropped her off at Walmart (the "First
Statement"). Corporal Shearin then asked Daniels if he
had a gun on him, and Daniels denied it (the "Second
Statement"). Corporal Shearin asked if there was any
marijuana inside the vehicle, and Daniels responded
affirmatively (the "Third Statement"). Corporal
Shearin did not read Daniels his Miranda rights
prior to or during this conversation.
Corporal Shearin was busy with Daniels, Sergeant Dean Palmer
arrived at the scene. Corporal Shearin placed Daniels in the
back seat of Sergeant Palmer's squad car and shut the
door. As Sergeant Palmer walked around the parking lot and
back toward his squad car, he observed that Daniels was
trying to get his attention. Sergeant Palmer opened the door,
and Daniels told him that a .38 caliber gun was under the
driver's seat in the Nissan (the "Fourth
Statement"). Sergeant Palmer also did not advise Daniels
of his Miranda rights.
the Nissan, officers found a .38 caliber gun on the
floorboard of the driver's seat. Elsewhere inside the
car, they found counterfeit money and goods bought earlier
that day from the stores that had reported the white female
passing counterfeit currency. A while later, Corporal Shearin
approached Sergeant Palmer's squad car and Daniels
spontaneously said, "Yes, I'm on parole" (the
August 29, 2017, Daniels appeared at a state parole
revocation hearing and made voluntary statements that he had
violated the terms of his parole by being a felon in
possession of a firearm. While Daniels was without counsel at
the hearing, he had been informed two weeks prior to the
hearing that he had the right to be represented by counsel.
He was also informed of his right to present evidence and to
contest evidence and to call witnesses at the hearing. When
he appeared at the hearing, he was informed that he was not
required to make any statements but that any statement he
made could be used against him. At the hearing, Daniels
admitted that he possessed the firearm charged in this case
and that he had violated his parole in a number of
particulars. The court revoked his parole.
October of 2017, Daniels was charged in federal court with
being a felon in possession of a firearm. Daniels moved to
suppress the inculpatory statements made to the police. The
district court granted Daniels's motion to suppress the
Second and Third Statements but denied the motion as it
related to the First, Fourth, and Fifth Statements. Daniels
also filed a motion in limine seeking to prohibit the
admission of his statements from the parole revocation
hearing as well as the official documents from the hearing.
After conducting a Rule 403 analysis, the district court
granted the motion as to the official hearing documents but
denied the motion as to Daniels's personal admissions and
government also filed a motion in limine seeking to prevent
Daniels from introducing evidence of Ezekiel's 2002
conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The
district court granted the motion. Daniels appeals the
district court's rulings on both motions in limine, ...