United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
July 14, 2004.
UNITED STATES, Plaintiff,
CHARLES STATES, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RONALD GUZMAN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), Magistrate Judge Michael T.
Mason held a hearing on defendant Charles States' motion to
suppress his post-arrest statements and issued a report
recommending that the motion be denied. The Magistrate Judge
resolved all credibility issues in favor of the law enforcement
witnesses and came to the conclusion that States was not
subjected to custodial interrogation prior to being given his
Miranda rights, thus, no Fifth Amendment violation occurred.
States filed objections to the Report and Recommendation,
arguing that the Magistrate Judge erred in finding the government
witnesses' testimony more credible than his own testimony. This
Court must make a de novo determination as to portions of the
report to which objections are made, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). A
district court can make credibility determinations based on the
record developed by the magistrate. A de novo hearing is not
required. United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667 (1980). Upon
review of the Report and Recommendation, defendant's objections,
the government's response, and all other pleadings relating to
the motion to suppress, this Court finds no basis for disagreeing
with the Magistrate Judge's credibility determinations.*fn1
Next, States' objected to the finding that no custodial
interrogation took place until after he waived his Miranda
rights. The objection is based on States' testimony that he was
questioned by an officer while he was sitting in the squad car,
prior to being Mirandized. States could not recall any specific
questions asked by the officer. Accordingly, even if the
Magistrate Judge believed States' testimony, he would have been
at a loss to determine if the alleged conversation amounted to an
interrogation. Further, the Report and Recommendation points out
that officers Cruz and Flores testified that no one questioned
States while he was in the squad car. The Magistrate Judge found
the law enforcement officers' side of the story to be credible
and this Court agrees with that determination. Therefore, this
objection also fails.
Finally, States also objected to the conclusion that his
statements were voluntary. He claims they were involuntary
because he was kicked in the head during his arrest. As pointed
out in the Report and Recommendation, States waived this argument
by not bringing it up until now. In any event, the Court agrees
with the Magistrate Judge's reading of Watson v. Detella,
122 F.3d 450, 454 (7th Cir. 1997), and finds that the alleged kick
could not render States' later confession involuntary.
This Court agrees with the facts and law set forth by the
Magistrate Judge and finds States' objections to be without
merit. Accordingly, the Report and Recommendation is hereby approved and adopted in its entirety and defendant's motion to
suppress is denied.