Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. King

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 21, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL KING, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On January 7, 2016, the Grand Jury for the District of Delaware indicted Defendant Michael King ("Mr. King") for one count of knowingly possessing a firearm that moved in interstate commerce after having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. See (D.I. 8). Presently before the court is Mr. King's Motion to Suppress Evidence. (D.I. 20). Judge Andrews held an evidentiary hearing in connection with this motion on September 20, 2016. After the hearing, Defendant filed his post-hearing brief. (D.I. 29). The Government filed a letter outlining potential reasons why Judge Andrews should recuse himself. (D.I. 30). On November 3, 2016, Judge Andrews decided to recuse himself, recognizing that he had previously supervised the prosecution of Mr. King for a similar crime in his role as Criminal Chief in the United States Attorney's Office. After reassignment, the Government filed its post hearing brief. (D.I. 33). For the reasons that follow, the court will deny Mr. King's motion to suppress.

         II. FINDINGS OF FACT

         At the evidentiary hearing before Judge Andrews on September 20, 2016, the United States called one witness, Trooper Austin Andres ("Trooper Andres"). (D.I. 25). Mr. King did not call any witnesses. Id. The court held a Teleconference on November 16, 2016, to discuss Judge Andrews' recusal and to determine whether another evidentiary hearing was necessary. Both Defendant and the Government agreed that "the record . . . [was] clear from the evidentiary hearing, " witness credibility determinations by this court were, therefore, unnecessary, and the only issue to be resolved was a legal one: when was Mr. King seized by Trooper Andres? Teleconference Tr. 3:10-20. The following represents the court's essential findings of fact as required by Rule 12(d) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The following findings of fact were made from the testimony of Trooper Andres, (D.I. 29-1), the audio recording admitted into evidence as Government Exhibit 1, (D.I. 29-1, Ex. 1), and the audio-video recording admitted into evidence as Government Exhibit 2, (D.I. 29-1, Ex.2).

         At about 8:00pm on December 4, 2015, Trooper Andres reported to the hibachi restaurant in Glendale Plaza in Bear, Delaware, in response to a radio transmission from dispatch stating that two males were fighting in the lobby of the restaurant. (D.I. 29-1, Ex. 2 at 4:19-5:1). The dispatcher requested that "[u]nits respond to the Hibachi in Glendale Plaza, in reference to a couple of disorderly subjects." (D.I. 29-1, Ex.1 at 0:00-0:47). The dispatcher also relayed the description of the subjects and specific events noted by the reporting party ("RP"):

You have a 24-year-old black male wearing a dark-colored hoodie and a 24-year-old white male, brown hair, also wearing a dark-colored hoodie and blue jeans. The two subjects were inside the restaurant fighting. RP initially advised that one left and one was still inside the restaurant and we were further updated that they both left the restaurant, possibly still in the parking lot.

Id.

         Trooper Andres indicated to the dispatcher that he could respond to the request for investigation at the Hibachi. (D.I. 29-1, 8:9-11). Trooper Andres arrived at the Hibachi about a minute after he communicated to the dispatcher that he would respond. Id. 8:9-11. When Trooper Andres arrived at the Hibachi, he parked his car slightly past the entrance of the restaurant, walked through the front entrance door, and opened the interior door leading to the lobby. Id. 8:14-22.

         Upon walking into the lobby of the Hibachi, Trooper Andres made eye contact with RP, the host of the restaurant. Id. 8:23-24. Without walking over to RP, Trooper Andres asked RP if he called the police. Id. 8:25. In response to Trooper Andres question, RP nodded yes and then pointed to a black male subject leaning against the front lobby windows inside of the restaurant. Id. 9:2-4. The subject that RP pointed to was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, grey jeans, and black sneakers. Id. 9:10. During the hearing, Trooper Andres confirmed that the subject RP pointed to was, in fact, Mr. King. Id. 9:11-12.

         When RP pointed at Mr. King, Mr. King stopped leaning on the front window and started walking toward Trooper Andres. Id. 9:15-16. At that time, Trooper Andres was standing in front of the entrance to and exit from the Hibachi. Id. 9:18-19. When Mr. King started walking toward Trooper Andres, Trooper Andres put his "arm out across the doorway and told [Mr. King] to stop" because Trooper Andres "needed to talk to [him] for a second." Id. 9:21-22. Mr. King "immediately turned around [and] started walking back inside the Hibachi towards the seating area where people were dining." Id. 9:24-25. Mr. King was walking at a fast pace away from Trooper Andres, and, even after Trooper Andres told him to stop, Mr. King did not respond and continued to walk away. Id. 10:1-7.

         When Mr. King did not respond to Trooper Andres requests to stop walking, Trooper Andres took hold of the back of Mr. King's black, hooded sweatshirt, turned him around, and walked him out of the restaurant. Id. 10:9-11. Once Trooper Andres took hold of Mr. King's sweatshirt, Mr. King complied and walked with Trooper Andres out of the restaurant. Id. 10:15-19. Trooper Andres did not drag Mr. King out of the restaurant. Id.

         Trooper Andres let go of Mr. King's sweatshirt once they were outside of the Hibachi. Id. 11:1-2. When Trooper Andres and Mr. King began to speak outside of the Hibachi, Trooper Andres noticed the smell of alcohol emanating from Mr. King, and he also noticed that Mr. King had glassy, bloodshot eyes. Id. 11:1-6. When Trooper Andres asked Mr. King what had happened that night, Mr. King repeatedly stated that he did not do anything wrong, but he was drunk. Id. 11:14-15. Trooper Andres asked Mr. King if he had any identification on him. Id. 11:16-21. Mr. King pulled out his wallet and handed Trooper Andres a credit card even though Trooper Andres observed a Delaware identification in Mr. King's wallet. Id. Trooper Andres asked to see Mr. King's identification card, and Mr. King responded by telling Trooper Andres his name but asking the trooper not to "run" him. Id. 12:3-4. This caused Trooper Andres to think that Mr. King had something to hide. Id. 12:7-8.

         During Trooper Andres' conversation with Mr. King outside of the Hibachi, Trooper Andres observed that Mr. King continually placed "his hands inside of his front jean pockets." Id. 12:9- 11. Trooper Andres asked Mr. King "many times" to stop placing his hands in his pockets during questioning. Id. 12:12-14. When Mr. King failed to comply with the Trooper's orders to keep his hands out of his pockets, Trooper Andres told Mr. King he had to pat him down. Id. 13:1. While patting him down, Trooper Andres asked Mr. King if he had anything on him that could harm the Trooper. Id. 13:1-3. Mr. King did not respond to the Trooper's question. Id. 13:7.

         Trooper Andres found nothing in Mr. King's front pockets during the pat down. Id. 13:8-9. When the Trooper tried to pat down Mr. King's back pockets and waistband, Mr. King pushed the Trooper's hand away and started to back away from him. Id. 13:10-15. When Mr. King started to turn away from Trooper Andres, the Trooper said, in a "command voice, " id. 13:20, "stop, don't move, let me see your hands." Id. 13:16. Mr. King tried to walk away and Trooper Andres pushed him up against the patrol car to stop him. Id. 13:22-23. At that point, Trooper Andres also pulled out his "department issued taser, " id. 14:1, and he turned on his microphone. Id. 14:10. When the microphone is turned on, the camera in the patrol car also begins recording. Id. 14:11-17. Trooper Andres testified that he pulled out his taser and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.