United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BRISBOIS, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to a general assignment, made in accordance
with the provisions of Title 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local
Rule 72.1, upon Defendant Duane James Neadeau's
(“Defendant”) Motion to Suppress Search of the
Defendant. [Docket No. 23]. The Court held a motions hearing
on September 29, 2017, regarding the parties' pretrial
motions. At the motions hearing, the parties
requested the opportunity to submit supplemental briefing
which was completed on October 23, 2017, and Defendant's
Motion to Suppress Search of the Defendant, [Docket No. 23],
was then taken under advisement at that time.
reasons discussed herein, the Court recommends that
Defendant's Motion to Suppress Search of the Defendant,
[Docket No. 23], be GRANTED.
BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF RELEVANT FACTS
is charged with one (1) count of assault with a dangerous
weapon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3),
1151, and 1153(a) and one (1) count of assault resulting in
serious bodily injury in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
113(a)(6), 1151, and 1153(a).
record presently before the Court indicates that on July 17,
2016, Red Lake Police Office Josh Wicker (“Office
Wicker”) received a call from police dispatch that a
bloody man was walking down the road. (September 29, 2017,
Motions Hearing, Digital Recording at 11:12- 11:13 a.m.).
Upon responding to an area on the West End Road, Officer
Wicker observed that T.P.S, the victim in the present case
(“Victim”), was bloody with lacerations on his
person. (Id.). Officer Wicker approached the Victim,
and he contacted emergency services. (Id.). Officer
Wicker also contacted Criminal Investigator Paul Smith
(“CI Smith”) to inform him of the situation.
(Id.). Emergency services transported the Victim to
the Red Lake Indian Services Hospital, and Officer Wicker
followed them to the hospital. (Id. at 11:13-11:14
a.m.). CI Smith also responded to the hospital to meet with
the Victim. (Id. at 11:47-11:49 a.m.).
arriving at the hospital, Officer Wicker asked the Victim who
had stabbed him. (Id. at 11:14-11:15 a.m.). The
Victim informed Officer Wicker that he had been stabbed by
Defendant. (Id.). The Victim also told Officer
Wicker that Defendant lived “two doors down.”
(Id.). Officer Wicker asked the Victim for further
information, such as where the incident occurred, however,
the Victim responded that finding out that information was
“your job.” (Id. at 11:22-11:24 a.m.).
Officer Wicker testified that the only information he
received from the Victim was that Defendant “stabbed
me. He lives two doors down.” (Id. at
11:31-11:34 a.m.). The Victim provided officers with no
further information at any time. (Id. at 11:24-11:25
Wicker subsequently learned the exact location of
Defendant's residence from other officers. (Id.
11:15-11:16 a.m.). Officer Wicker informed CI Smith that he
believed Defendant was a suspect in the stabbing, and CI
Smith instructed Officer Wicker, as well as, other officers
to go secure Defendant's residence. (Id. at
11:47-11:50 a.m.). Officer Wicker then responded to
Defendant's residence on West End Road. (Id. at
point after CI Smith arrived at the hospital, he called Task
Force Officer Travis Putrah (“TFO Putrah”) to
inform him of the situation. (Id. at 10:41-10:46;
11:49-11:50 a.m.). TFO Putrah testified that, after receiving
the information from CI Smith, he attempted to contact
Assistant United States Attorney Aanstad to begin securing a
search warrant, but he was unable to reach her. (Id.
at 10:51-10:53 a.m.). He eventually decide to not pursue a
search warrant because of what he described at the hearing as
“exigent circumstances, ” including the rain.
(Id. at 11:18-11:19 a.m.).
Wicker was the first to arrive at Defendant's residence,
and he arrived at approximately 1:01 a.m. (Id. at
11:47-11:50 a.m.). Officer Wicker, CI Smith, and TFO Putrah
each provided testimony describing the location and layout of
Defendant's residence. On the date of the incident now at
issue, TFO Putrah completed a sketch of Defendant's
residence with the surrounding layout. (Def. Ex.
residence is located on the North side of West End Road
approximately a couple hundred yards from where Officer
Wicker discovery the Victim, and it is surrounded by woods
rendering it unable to be seen from the road. (September 29,
2017, Motions Hearing, Digital Recording at 11:04-11:05 a.m.;
11:26-11:29 a.m.; 11:34-11:37). The front of the residence
faces South, and it does not have a fence or gate enclosing
any portion of it. (Id. at 10:51-10:52 a.m.;
11:05-11:06 a.m.; Def.'s Ex. 1). There are entrances on
the South and East side of the residence, however, there is
no entrance to the residence on the back of the residence.
(Def.'s Ex. 1; September 29, 2017, Motions Hearing,
Digital Recording at 11:06-11:07 a.m.). When officers arrived
at the residence, there were three vehicles parked in front
of the residence. It was raining and dark at Defendant's
residence when the officers arrived. (Id. at
11:17-11:18 a.m.; 11:53-11:54 a.m.).
arriving at the residence, Officer Wicker and Officer Graves
parked in the driveway in the front of the residence.
(Id. at 11:26-11:27 a.m.). Officer Wicker
immediately began checking the driveway, front porch area,
and front area of the residence for blood. (Id. at
11:27-11:29 a.m.). Officer Wicker then went around the house
to proceed to the back yard as he could not see the back yard
from the front yard. (Id. at 11:28-11:30 a.m.).
Officer Wicker testified the officers could only see where
they illuminated the yard with their flashlights as there
were no yard lights or other sources of light. (Id.
at 11:27-11:29 a.m.). Neither officer knocked on the front
door before beginning to search the front or back yard.
searching the back yard, Officer Wicker discovered two pools
of blood, a bent knife in the shape of a U, and a trail of
blood leading to the woods with a matted down section of
grass. (Id. at 11:15-11:16 a.m.). Officer Wicker
described the pools of blood as a large amount of blood
consistent with the wounds on Victim's body.
(Id. at 11:16-11:17 a.m.). All of the items of
evidence, including the two pools of blood, the bent knife in
the shape of a U, and the trail of blood leading to the woods
with a matted down section of grass, were found in the rear
of the residence and were not visible from either the front
of the residence or the driveway. (Def. Ex. 1; September 29,
2017, Motions Hearing, Digital Recording at 11:00-11:01 a.m.;
11:18-11:19 a.m.; 11:29-11:30 a.m.). Officer Wicker also
discovered tire tracks on the East side of the residence.
(Id. at 11:15-11:16 a.m.). Officer Wicker also
testified that he believed the rain was washing away the
pools of blood and washing blood off of the knife.
(Id. at 11:17-11:18 a.m.).
point after Officer Wicker began looking around the back yard
of Defendant's residence, TFO Putrah called Officer
Wicker, and Officer Wicker informed him that rain was washing
away blood discovered in the yard. (Id. at
10:46-10:48 a.m.). TFO Putrah then called CI Smith and
instructed him to begin securing items of potential evidence.
effort to stop the blood from washing away, Officer Wicker
covered the discovered knife with a brown paper bag which he
testified was “decently effective” at preventing
the rain from washing the blood away. (Id.). At some
time while Officer Wicker was searching the back yard,
another officer informed Officer Wicker that he had seen a
person inside the home move one of the curtains.
(Id. at 11:38-11:40 a.m.). After discovering the
aforementioned evidence in the back yard of Defendant's
residence, Officer Wicker and Officer Graves taped off the
area where the evidence was located and took pictures of the
evidence they had discovered. (Id. at 11:15-11:17
approximately 2:06 a.m., and after first searching and
securing the back yard of Defendant's residence, Officer
Wicker knocked on the front door of Defendant's
residence. (Id. at 11:34-11:37). No one responded to
Officer Wicker's knock. (Id.). Officer Wicker
found the lack of response suspicious, and the officers
entered the residence. (Id.). Upon entry into the
residence, law enforcement eventually located two people in
the basement, and they placed those two people under arrest
after an altercation-based on the officer's entry into
the home- occurred. (Id. at 11:03-11:04 a.m.;
11:18-11:19 a.m.). One of those individuals was Defendant.
thereafter, TFO Putrah arrived on the scene, and Officer
Wicker began assisting him in collecting evidence. TFO Putrah
testified that while taking photos at the scene he believed
blood had washed into the large pools of water. (Id.
at 11:07-11:08 a.m.). He also noted that all of the items of
evidence were located in the back yard of the residence, and
he could not see any of the items of evidence from where he
initially parked upon entering the property. (Id. at
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS SEARCH OF ...