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United States v. Gillette

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Central Division

March 23, 2018




         I. Facts Relevant to Motion to Suppress

         On January 31, 2017, Daniel Reynolds, a police officer for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, responded to a domestic dispute call at a house in Rosebud, South Dakota. T. 9-10. Upon entering the house, Officer Reynolds located Calvin Gillette and Lucille Running Enemy, the alleged victim, in a back bedroom. T. 11; Ex. 1 at 00:45-01:00. Officer Reynolds handcuffed Gillette, took him out to the living room to sit on a couch, and went back down the hall to speak with Running Enemy. Ex. 1 at 01:00-04:10. Gillette interjected several times while Running Enemy spoke to Officer Reynolds, saying "I'm sorry" and that he "didn't know what happened." Ex. 1 at 02:26-04:15. Officer Reynolds eventually turned his attention to Gillette, who by that time had left the couch, walked closer to where Officer Reynolds and Running Enemy were standing, and addressed Officer Reynolds directly. Ex. 1 at 02:26-04:15. The following exchange took place:

Officer Reynolds: Okay, what, what happened, Calvin?
Gillette: I didn't know what happened last night. I don't remember coming home.
Officer Reynolds: Were, were you drinking, or what?
Gillette: Yeah, yeah yesterday was my homeboy's memorial.
Officer Reynolds: Okay.
Gillette: And uh, that-and I asked her, did I mizz out? And she was like yeah, and I felt bad enough for that and I was like okay, you want me to go, I'll go.
Officer Reynolds: Mmm hmm.
Gillette: And it just took off from there. You know, we started arguing after that, and I just-

04:05-04:45. This discussion, which Judge Moreno referred to as the "initial statements, " ended when Running Enemy interrupted Gillette midsentence. Ex. 1 at 04:40. Running Enemy and Gillette then argued about what occurred until Officer Reynolds cut the parties off and told Running Enemy to get her sister, Amanda Roubideaux, from one of the back rooms in the house. Ex. 1 at 04:40-06:10. Roubideaux spoke briefly with Officer Reynolds in the hall, but Gillette kept interrupting her. Ex. 1 at 06:30-07:30. Officer Reynolds then went over with Gillette to the couch in the living room, finished packing Gillette's bag, and prepared him to leave. Ex. 1 at 7:30-10:45. While doing so, Officer Reynolds and Gillette conversed about Gillette's belongings and the fact that he was being arrested for domestic abuse. Ex. 1 at 07:30-10:45. Gillette asked to speak to Running Enemy during this conversation but Officer Reynolds refused to let him. Ex. 1 at 08:55-09:05. Once outside the home, Gillette took off running. Ex. 1 at' 10:42; T. 16. Officer Reynolds eventually found Gillette in the basement of a nearby house and took him to the tribal jail. Ex. 1; T. 17.

         The Rosebud Sioux Tribe charged Gillette with multiple crimes, including domestic abuse of Running Enemy. Ex. 2. In May 2017, Gillette appeared with counsel in tribal court and pleaded guilty to the domestic assault and several other charges. Exs. 3, 4. Four months later, a federal grand jury indicted Gillette for domestic assault by a habitual offender. Doc. 1. This federal charge arose from the same incident with Running Enemy that Gillette had pleaded guilty to in tribal court. Gillette filed two motions to suppress, the first arguing that his statements are inadmissible under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), Doc. 31, and the second arguing that his tribal court guilty plea is inadmissible under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, Doc. 33. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno held a hearing on these motions at which he heard testimony from Officer Reynolds and received into evidence a video recording from the body camera Officer Reynolds was wearing during his encounter with Gillette, a transcript of the audio from this video, an audio recording of Gillette's tribal court guilty plea, and the complaint and judgment from the tribal court case. Judge Moreno recommended granting Gillette's motion to suppress his statements in part, concluding that while Gillette's initial statements were voluntary, they were the result of custodial interrogation and therefore inadmissible under Miranda in the government's case in chief. Doc. 44. However, Judge Moreno concluded that Gillette's "later statements"-meaning those he made while arguing with Running Enemy until he was apprehended outside the house-were admissible because they were not made in response to interrogation. As to the tribal court guilty plea, Judge Moreno recommended denying Gillette's motion to suppress, finding that neither the Fifth nor Sixth Amendments prohibited the government from offering the plea at trial. Doc. 44. Gillette has now objected to the report and recommendation. Doc. 45.

         This Court reviews a report and recommendation under the statutory standards found in 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), which provides in relevant part that "[a] judge of the [district] 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). ...

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