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United States v. Dotstry

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 13, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Kendrick Ledelle Dotstry, Defendant.

          Andrew S. Dunne, Office of the United States Attorney, for Plaintiff United States of America

          Robert M. Paule, Robert M. Paule, PA, for Defendant Kendrick Ledelle Dotstry

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Motion to Withdraw Plea of Guilty [Doc. No. 62] filed by Defendant Kendrick Ledelle Dotstry (“Dotstry”). On November 3, 2017, the Court held an evidentiary hearing on this motion, at which Dotstry offered testimony and counsel presented oral arguments. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Offense Conduct and Charges

         The Indictment [Doc. No. 1] in this case charges Dotstry with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) & 924 (a)(2). Dotstry had prior felony convictions from this District for possession with intent to distribute cocaine in 2000, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine/cocaine base in 2009. (Indictment at 1.)

         The current charges stem from events occurring on November 19, 2016, when several 911-callers reported an in-progress domestic abuse incident at a Minneapolis apartment complex. (See R&R at 2 [Doc. No. 34].) While officers were en route to the scene, they learned the suspect's name and obtained a description of the suspect and his vehicle. (Id.) The callers indicated that the suspect had also pointed a gun at several persons near the apartment complex. (Id. at 3.)

         At the evidentiary hearing on the instant motion, Dotstry testified that his actions on the day in question were in self-defense. (See Nov. 3, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 12 [Doc. No. 73].) As he explained at the hearing and in a November 3, 2017 letter to the Court, on November 19, 2016, he visited the apartment complex to attend a baby shower for a woman named Juanita, with whom he was expecting a child. (Def.'s Nov. 3, 2017 Letter at 2 [Doc. No. 68].) At the same time, however, Dotstry was also expecting a child with a different woman-a fact that was apparently known to Juanita and members of her family, who were unhappy with Dotstry. (See id.) (stating, “A couple of sisters of . . . Juanita got involved and started a [w]hole bunch of drama and turn[ed] her family against me. (Ok[, ] I deserve for them to be mad.)”). While he was arguing with Juanita in front of the building, Dotstry contends that a man named Duke told him to leave. (Id.) Dotstry then walked off and engaged in conversation with a man named Andre. (Id.) After Andre left, Dotstry asserts that he was walking to his truck when Duke approached him and the two started fighting. (Id.) Duke pulled out a gun, which Dotstry deflected, causing Duke to drop the weapon. (Id.) Shortly thereafter, Dotstry contends that “about 20” members of Juanita's family, who came out to help Duke, approached Dotstry. (Id.) Believing that Juanita's family members meant him harm, Dotstry waved a gun in front of himself. (Id.) As he later explained, “I did wave the gun to get all the people to back away from me.” (Def.'s Nov. 3, 2017 Letter at 3.) Dotstry then got into his truck and started to leave. (Nov. 3, 2017 Hr'g Tr. at 12.)

         When the responding police officers arrived at the scene, they observed a suspect and vehicle that matched the callers' descriptions. (R&R at 3.) After the driver, later identified as Dotstry, voluntarily pulled over, the officers initiated a stop. (Id.) Because of concerns that Dotstry was armed, officers drew their weapons, crouched behind the doors of their squad car, and issued commands to Dotstry. (Id.) Dotstry initially refused to comply, but ultimately did so. (Id. at 3.) While the officers were securing him, the following exchange occurred between Dotstry and Officer Andrew Schroeder:

Officer Schroeder: We got a call you were pointing a gun around.
Dotstry: I was pointing a gun?
Officer Schroeder: That's why we're here.
Dotstry: I do have one. There's one in the car.
Officer Schroeder: Is there one in ...

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