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United States v. McGahee

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga

October 30, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DORSEY EUGENE MCGAHEE

          Steger, Magistrate Judge

          ORDER

          HARRY S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant Dorsey Eugene McGahee's (“Defendant” or “McGahee”) Objection to Report and Recommendation. [Doc. 42].

         McGahee filed a Motion to Suppress, [Doc. 26], [1] which the Court referred to Magistrate Judge Steger under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). [Doc. 28]. On July 11, 2019, Magistrate Judge Steger held an evidentiary hearing on the Motion, and on September 11, 2019, entered a Report and Recommendation on McGahee's Motion to Suppress. [Doc. 41]. Magistrate Judge Steger recommends that the Motion be granted in part and denied in part. [See id.]

         McGahee timely objected in part to the Report and Recommendation, [Doc. 42], and the Government timely responded, [Doc. 43].

         The Court has now reviewed the entire record pertinent to the instant objection, and for the reasons stated below, will ACCEPT and ADOPT Magistrate Judge Steger's Report and Recommendation and GRANT IN PART and DENY IN PART McGahee's Motion to Suppress.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court must review de novo those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objection is made and may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the Magistrate Judge's findings or recommendations. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         II. FACTS

         Magistrate Judge Steger held an evidentiary hearing on July 11, 2019, at which Task Force Officer Jeremy Winbush testified and the Parties introduced evidence (a video of law enforcement questioning McGahee, a form advising McGahee of his rights, and a transcript from a bail hearing, [see Doc. 40]). On that basis, Magistrate Judge Steger developed an extensive factual record. McGahee's objection recites facts in accordance with the Report and Recommendation and the Government explicitly adopts Magistrate Judge Steger's findings. In other words, the Objection before the Court addresses only the legal conclusions in the Report and Recommendation. A review of the record supports Magistrate Judge Steger's findings of fact as set forth in the Report and Recommendation, and the Court therefore adopts them by reference. [Doc. 41].

         III. ANALYSIS

         The Motion to Suppress contends that statements made by McGahee to three law enforcement officers-Task Force Officer Jeremy Winbush, Special Agent Galloway, and Special Agent Puckett-spread across two consecutive interviews at a Federal Bureau of Investigation office were obtained in violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and that evidence gathered based upon those statements is fruit of the poisonous tree which must be suppressed. [Doc. 26; Doc. 31]. Magistrate Judge Steger concluded that Winbush failed to deliver Miranda warnings while conducting the first interview and that statements made therein should be suppressed. He further concluded that Galloway and Puckett properly delivered Miranda warnings during the second interview and that McGahee waived his right to counsel, meaning statements made during the second interview should not be suppressed. Finally, Magistrate Judge Steger concluded that the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine is inapplicable to Miranda violations and that derivative evidence related to the interviews should not be suppressed.

         McGahee objects only to Magistrate Judge Steger's conclusion that the statements made during the second interview should not be suppressed and advances three arguments in support of his contention. First, he argues that the second interview amounts to an unconstitutional “interrogate, warn, interrogate” approach in which law enforcement officers conduct an interrogation to obtain incriminating but inadmissible statements, only after which they administer the Miranda warnings and then re-obtain the same incriminating (but now admissible) statements. Second, he argues that Galloway and Puckett ignored an unequivocal invocation of his right to counsel, which should have terminated their questioning. Finally, he argues that even if he did not invoke his right to counsel, neither he did not make an intelligent, knowing, and voluntary waiver of that right.

         McGahee made the latter two arguments before Magistrate Judge Steger, but failed to assert in his original Motion to Suppress that the sequencing of the interviews and warnings amounted to unconstitutional midstream Miranda warnings. Whatever the merits of that argument, the “general rule [in the Sixth Circuit] is that district judges will not entertain issues and arguments that appear for the first time in objections to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation.” Moore v. United States, No. 14-114, 2016 WL 4708947, at *2 (E.D. Ky. Sept. 8, 2016) (citing Moore v. Prevo, 379 Fed.Appx. 425, 428 n.6 (6th Cir. 2010)). ...


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