United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BRISBOIS, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge upon Defendant Dayton Gage Lussier's
(“Defendant”) Motion to Suppress Statements.
[Docket No. 19]. This case has been referred to the
undersigned Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation,
in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule
72.1. The Court held a motions hearing on May 16, 2019,
regarding the parties' pretrial motions.
the motions hearing, the parties requested the opportunity to
submit supplemental briefing. The Court took Defendant's
Motion to Suppress Statement, [Docket No. 19], under
advisement on June 7, 2019.
reasons discussed herein, the Court recommends that
Defendant's Motion to Suppress Statements, [Docket No.
19] be DENIED.
BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF FACTS
is charged with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3), 1151, and
1153(a); and one count of assault resulting in serious bodily
injury, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(6),
1151, and 1153(a). (Indictment [Docket No. 1]).
motion asks the Court to suppress statements that the
Defendant made to law enforcement on April 18, 2018, because
he asserts he was subject to what amounted to a custodial
interrogation without having been provided a Miranda
advisory. (Def.'s Mot. [Docket No. 19]; Def.'s Mem.
in Supp., [Docket No. 20], at 3-4).
April 18, 2018, three members of law enforcement arrived at
the driveway of Defendant's grandfather's residence
to interview Defendant. (May 16, 2019, Motions Hearing,
Digital Recording at 1:37-1:38 p.m.). The three members of
law enforcement arrived in multiple vehicles, which were all
unmarked and at no point did the officers turn on the police
lights or sirens of any of the vehicles. (Id. at
1:43-1:44 p.m.). When the officers arrived, Defendant's
mother and grandfather were present, and the officers talked
to both of them. (Id.). Thereafter, Defendant
arrived at the residence in his vehicle approximately 30
seconds later. (Id.; 1:53-1:54 p.m.). After
Defendant arrived, the officers did not make any effort to
block in the vehicle he arrived in. (Id. at
approximately 4:45 p.m., Federal Bureau of Investigations
Special Agent Mark Meyers (hereinafter “SA
Meyers”), who was in civilian attire, began a recorded
interview of Defendant. (Id.). The interview
occurred outside of Defendant's grandfather's
property in an area that was not fenced in. (Id. at
1:41-1:42 p.m.; 1:49-1:50 p.m.). Additionally, during the
interview, Defendant's mother and grandfather were
standing and talking to the other officers a few feet away
from Defendant within earshot of the interview.
SA Meyers started his recording device, he introduced himself
and asked Defendant if he could speak with him. (Id.
at 1:51-1:52 p.m.). He then asked Defendant to walk with him
towards his vehicle. (Id. at 1:40-1:41 p.m.). At the
start of the interview, SA Meyers set the recording device on
the hood of his vehicle and asked Defendant his name and date
of birth. (Gov't Ex. 1 at 0:15-0:45). SA Meyers then
informed Defendant that he wanted to talk him about an
incident that Defendant was involved in with a person named
Avery. (Id. at 1:45-2:00). At the conclusion of the
interview, SA Meyers told Defendant to “have a nice
day.” (Id. at 11:15-11:25).
total, the interview lasted for approximately 11 minutes. At
no point during the interview did any law enforcement officer
have a weapon drawn, nor was Defendant handcuffed at any
point during his encounter with law enforcement. (May 16,
2019, Motions Hearing, Digital Recording at 1:45-1:46 p.m.).
Further, at no point during the interview did SA Meyers or
the other two law enforcement officials inform Defendant that
he was under arrest or going to be arrested. Furthermore, SA
Meyers maintained a conversational tone during his interview
with Defendant. (Id. at 1:46-1:47 p.m.). At no point
during the interview did Defendant ask any of the officers if
he could leave or otherwise indicate that he wanted to end
the interview. Additionally, at no point during the interview
did SA Meyers or any other law enforcement officer make any
promises to Defendant. (Id. at 1:49-1:50 p.m.).
Standard of Review
noted above, Defendant generally argues that the
circumstances on April 18, 2018, were tantamount to him being
in custody during his interview such that law enforcement was
required to read him a Miranda warning, and that, as
a result of the officers' failure to read him any
Miranda warnings, the statement that he made during
the interview on April 18, 2018, ought to be suppressed.
(Def.'s Mem. in Supp., [Docket No. 20], at 3-4).
prohibits the government from introducing into evidence
statements made by the defendant during a custodial
interrogation unless the defendant has been previously
advised of his [F]ifth [A]mendment privilege against
self-incrimination and right to an attorney.”
United States v. Chipps, 410 F.3d 438, 445 (8th Cir.
2005) (citing Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444
(1966)). Law enforcement must provide a Miranda
advisory prior to interrogation when a person has been
“taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his
freedom of action in any significant way.”
Stansbury v. California, 511 U.S. 318, 322 (1994)
(quoting Miranda, 384 U.S. at 444). Significantly,
law enforcement officers “are not required to
administer Miranda warnings to everyone whom they
question.” Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 U.S. 492,
495 (1977). “Miranda warnings are required only where
there has been such a restriction on a person's freedom
as to render him in custody.” Id. (internal
Eighth Circuit considers six (6) factors when evaluating
whether an individual is “in ...