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Monday, April 11, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In U.S.A. v. Berton Mays (SD Ind., Magnus-Stinson), a 14-page opinion, Judge Ripple writes:

Berton Mays left the scene of a fight and was followed by an investigating officer who wanted to interview him about the altercation. Mr. Mays repeatedly declined to stop and talk to the officer, expressing his declination in colorful and abusive language. After observing Mr. Mays’s demeanor and suspecting that he might be armed, the officer told him to stop and touched his shoulder in order to keep a distance between the two. Mr. Mays’s manner of turning made the officer concerned for his safety, and he employed his already drawn Taser. A semi-automatic firearm fell to the ground.

Mr. Mays ultimately was prosecuted in federal court for possession of a firearm by a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). He pleaded guilty to the offense, but reserved the right to appeal the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress the firearm, which he contended was the product of an illegal seizure. He also reserved the right to appeal the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress a statement he had made to federal agents while he was in pretrial confinement. Mr. Mays now appeals, raising these preserved challenges.

We affirm the judgment of the district court. As the district court determined, the officer’s stop was supported by reason-able suspicion as required by the Fourth Amendment. With respect to the statement, there was no independent violation of Mr. Mays’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 11, 2016 06:19 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions