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U.S. v. STATES

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division


July 14, 2004.

UNITED STATES, Plaintiff,
v.
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.

  SO ORDERED.


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