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United States of America v. Dahveed Dean and Terrance Daniels

April 9, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DAHVEED DEAN AND TERRANCE DANIELS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Samuel Der-yeghiayan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the court on Defendant Dahveed Dean's (Dean) motions in limine and the Government's motions in limine. For the reasons stated below, the Government's motions in limine are granted and Dean's motions in limine are denied.

DISCUSSION

I. Dean's Motions

A. Exclusion of Certain Evidence Pursuant to Rule 403

Dean seeks, pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 403 (Rule 403), to bar the admission of (1) a sketch of a bank layout found on the back of a bond sheet (Sketch) that was allegedly recovered from Dean's car, (2) testimony relating to the sources of money used to post bond for Dean and an individual named Maurice Wilbon (Wilbon) in January 2006, and (3) testimony relating to Dean's alleged abundance of cash shortly after the charged robberies occurred. Rule 403 provides that "[t]he court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence." Fed. R. Evid. 403. Dean argues that such evidence is not specifically related to the bank robberies charged in the case, and that such evidence is prejudicial to Dean and likely to confuse the jury. The Government correctly points out that the Sketch is directly relevant to show Dean's alleged preparation and planning of the bank robbery that occurred on December 20, 2005 (December 2005 Robbery). In addition, because the posting of large cash bonds and cash purchases occurred shortly after the December 2005 Robbery, such evidence is directly relevant to the issue of whether Dean committed the December 2005 Robbery. Therefore, based upon the above, Dean's motion is denied.

B. Exclusion of Hearsay Testimony

Dean seeks to bar the Government from introducing hearsay testimony by Government witnesses relating to Dean's reputation as a bank robber and Dean's commission of certain bad acts. In response to the motion, the Government indicates that it does not intend to introduce the testimony identified by Dean in his motion.

Therefore, Dean's motion is denied as moot.

C. Exclusion of Rule 404(b) Testimony

Dean seeks, pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) (Rule 404(b)), to bar (1) evidence relating to his prior conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm in case number 06 CR 550, (2) testimony of Marcus Moore (Moore) relating to (a) statements Dean made to him about a robbery and shooting and (b) threats Dean allegedly made against Moore and his family (Threats), and (3) testimony from various other witnesses relating to prior bad acts allegedly committed by Dean. Pursuant to Rule 404(b), "[e]vidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith," but such evidence may "be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident, provided that upon request by the accused, the prosecution in a criminal case shall provide reasonable notice in advance of trial, or during trial if the court excuses pretrial notice on good cause shown, of the general nature of any such evidence it intends to introduce at trial." Fed. R. Evid. 404(b). In determining whether to admit Rule 404(b) evidence, a court must consider whether "(1) the evidence is directed toward establishing a matter in issue other than the defendant's propensity to commit the crime charged; (2) the evidence shows that the other act is similar enough and close enough in time to be relevant to the matter in issue; (3) the evidence is sufficient to support a jury finding that the defendant committed the similar act; and (4) the evidence has probative value that is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice." United States v. Diekhoff, 535 F.3d 611, 617 (7th Cir. 2008)(internal quotations omitted)(quoting United States v. Simpson, 479 F.3d 492, 498 (7th Cir. 2007)).

Dean argues that the testimony at issue does not fit within the permitted uses of Rule 404(b) testimony and is not admissible under the intricately related doctrine. The court notes that the Seventh Circuit has recently abolished admissibility of evidence under the intricately related, or inextricably intertwined, doctrine. See United States v. Gorman, 613 F.3d 711, 719 (7th Cir. 2010)(stating that "the inextricable intertwinement doctrine has outlived its usefulness," and that "[h]enceforth, resort to inextricable intertwinement is unavailable when determining a theory of admissibility"). With respect to whether Dean's conviction in case number 06 CR 550 falls within the permitted uses of Rule 404(b) evidence, the Government has indicated in its filings that, at this time, it does not intend to introduce evidence of the conviction itself, but that it does intend to offer evidence relating to Dean's possession of firearms on January 3, 2006. Such evidence is admissible as direct evidence of Dean's participation in the December 2005 Robbery, which involved alleged use of the same firearms. Further, the probative value of such evidence is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to Dean.

With respect to whether Moore's testimony falls within the permitted uses of Rule 404(b) evidence, the Government indicates that it does not intend to introduce evidence relating to the Threats unless Dean tries to discredit Moore's testimony indicating that Moore attempted to distance himself from Dean and his associates after an alleged bank robbery attempt and that Moore was reluctant to participate in the December 2005 Robbery. Under such circumstances, testimony regarding the Threats would be relevant to establishing Moore's credibility, and would therefore be admissible under Rule 404(b). See, e.g., United States v. Thompson,286 F.3d 950, 969 (7th Cir. 2002). With respect to the other 404(b) evidence ...


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