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United States v. Tuttle

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

December 6, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MYLES TUTTLE, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JEFFREY L. VIKEN CHIEF JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Defendant filed a motion to suppress statements and a motion to suppress any evidence generated through a lineup. (Dockets 97 & 98). The motions were referred to Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann for a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and the standing order dated March 9, 2015. The magistrate judge conducted a hearing on the motions and issued a report and recommendation (“R&R”) concluding defendant's motions should be denied. (Docket 232). Defendant timely filed objections to the R&R.[1] (Docket 240). For the reasons stated below, defendant's objections are overruled and the report and recommendation is adopted consistent with this order.

         DEFENDANT'S OBJECTIONS

         Mr. Tuttle's objections to the R&R are summarized as follows:

1. Defendant was in custody and should have been advised of his Miranda[2] rights before being interviewed; and
2. The photographic lineup was unduly suggestive.

(Docket 240).

         Under the Federal Magistrate Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), if a party files written objections to the magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations, the district court is required to “make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” Id. The court may “accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Id. See also Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3). The court completed a de novo review of those portions of the R&R to which objections were filed.

         ANALYSIS

         A grand jury indicted Mr. Tuttle on one count of premeditated first degree murder in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 2, 1152 and 1153; one count of felony murder in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 2, 1152 and 1153; one count of conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(3); and one count of accessory after the fact to first degree murder in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3. (Docket 129). Three other individuals were indicted with Mr. Tuttle on some of the same counts and other counts of the superseding indictment relating to the death of Vincent Brewer III on October 16, 2016, at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Id.

         Mr. Tuttle filed a motion to suppress two statements purportedly given to law enforcement.[3] (Docket 97). He also filed a motion to suppress any identification of him which occurred during a series of photographic lineups. (Docket 98).

         The magistrate judge conducted a suppression hearing at which FBI Special Agents Scott Eicher and Jeff Youngblood testified and three exhibits were admitted. (Dockets 191 & 232). Relying on the audio recording of the hearing, For The Record (“FTR”), the magistrate judge issued the R&R. (Docket 232 at p. 2 n.1).[4]

         1. DEFENDANT WAS IN CUSTODY AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF HIS MIRANDA RIGHTS BEFORE BEING INTERVIEWED

         The magistrate judge found “Mr. Tuttle was not in custody [on October 1, 2016, ] for purposes of Miranda, and SA Eicher was not required to administer Miranda warnings.” Id. at p. 11. Based on this finding, the report recommends defendant's “[m]otion to [s]uppress [s]tatements be denied.” Id.

         Mr. Tuttle objects to the report's recommendation. (Docket 240 at pp. 1-2). Defendant argues the recommendation is erroneous and claims the facts presented at the suppression hearing were materially different from the facts found by the magistrate judge. Id. at p. 1. Defendant believes the facts material to the court's de novo review of the evidence presented include the following:

1. [D]efendant was taken into custody at the Walmart Parking Lot where the vehicle in which he was a passenger was surrounded by more than 10 police cars transporting police ...

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