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United States v. Andrews

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 19, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
Norris Deshon Andrews, Defendant.

          Norris Deshon Andrews, Sherburne County Jail, pro se

          Daniel L. Gerdts, MN, standby counsel for Defendant

          Jeffrey Paulsen, United States Attorney's Office, MN 55415, for the Government


          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, United States District Judge

         Before the Court is the June 9, 2019 Letter from Defendant Norris Deshon Andrews [Doc. No. 220], which the Court construes as his Motion to Reopen the Suppression Hearing. For the reasons noted below, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         At the May 28, 2019 status conference, Andrews requested that the pretrial suppression hearing be reopened in light of newly disclosed evidence. At that time, the Court gave Andrews a very limited opportunity to demonstrate the need for reopening the hearing, requiring that he demonstrate good cause, based on evidence that was not available to him at the time of the prior hearings.[1]

         In Andrews' motion, filed on June 13, he presents the following arguments in support of his request: (1) the mere fact of newly disclosed evidence, or “selective disclosure, ” supports his claim of governmental and prosecutorial misconduct, (Def.'s Mot. at 1, 4); (2) he wishes to enter the “late disclosed evidence” into the record, (id. at 2); (3) he claims to have proof that there was no probable cause for the stop of the GMC Yukon, based on bodycam videos disclosed several months after the final suppression hearing, [2] (id. at 3, 4); (4) he asserts that he has proof of ownership of the GMC Yukon, and therefore standing to challenge the search and seizure of the vehicle, (id.); (5) he contends that he has proof that officers planted the firearm inside the Yukon, in addition to drugs, (id.); (6) he asserts that he has “factual proof that false info was given to T-Mobile on exigent application about Defendant from alleged witnesses, ” based on newly disclosed bodycam footage of officers talking to witnesses, (id. at 4); and (7) “there are many more facts of constitutional violations by the government that pertain to dismissal or suppression of evidence motions by the defense that the Defendant tried to prove up in many of his motions and by the Government suppressing the evidence till after the hearings.” (Id. at 4.) The Court addresses these arguments below.

         1. Governmental/Prosecutorial Misconduct

         Andrews argues that the Government's disclosure of certain evidence after the suppression hearings supports his claim of governmental misconduct. (Id. at 1.) Previously, the Court addressed Andrews' claims of governmental and prosecutorial misconduct and bias in its May 8, 2019 Order, finding them unfounded. (See May 8, 2019 Order [Doc. No. 187] at 23-25, 50.) Again, the Court notes that a defendant bears a heavy evidentiary burden to show misconduct rising to the level of prosecutorial vindictiveness. United States v. Leathers, 354 F.3d 955, 961 (8th Cir. 2004). The fact that the Government disclosed some evidence after the suppression hearings does not support Andrews' claims of vindictiveness or misconduct. Rather, the Government has acted in good faith to provide the discovery. Accordingly, this basis for reopening the suppression hearing fails.

         2. Entering Late Disclosed Evidence into the Record

          Defendant argues that reopening the suppression hearing is necessary to allow him to enter late disclosed evidence into the record. (Def.'s Mot. at 2.) Defendant will have the opportunity to introduce evidence at trial, which, if relevant and otherwise admissible, will be entered into the record. But Andrews' desire to enter this evidence into the record does not warrant the reopening of the suppression hearing.

         3. Probable Cause for Stop of the Yukon

         Defendant claims that newly disclosed bodycam evidence supports his claim of lack of probable cause to stop the GMC Yukon. (Id. at 3-4.) After the suppression hearings, the Government disclosed some additional bodycam video footage.

         The Court thoroughly addressed the validity of the traffic stop in its May 8, 2019 Order on Defendant's objections to the magistrate judge's February 21, 2019 Order & R&R. (May 8, 2019 Order at 30-32.) In brief, Sgt. Joel Pucely testified that on the night in question, he observed a traffic violation, which provided sufficient probable cause for a stop. See United States v. Miller, 915 F.3d 1207, 1209 (8th Cir. 2019). Moreover, Sgt. Pucely observed a person entering the Yukon who matched the shooting suspect's description and Andrews' jail photo. Witnesses had identified Andrews as a suspect, video evidence of the shooting showed ...

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