United States of America v. Levell L. Matthews

2012 | Cited 0 times | D. Maine | September 21, 2012


With trial scheduled next week, Levell L. Matthews moves in limine to preclude law enforcement officials from testifying about a confession by an alleged co-conspirator, Renee Marie Weeks, while in police custody after her arrest on December 6, 2011. Def.'s Levell Matthews' Mot. in Limine to Exclude Confession by Alleged Co-Conspirator (ECF No. 95). In its response, the Government concedes that "it had and has no intention of asking such questions to law enforcement officers." Gov't's Resp. to Def.'s Mot. in Limine to Exclude Confession by Alleged Co-Conspirator at 1 (ECF No. 101) (Gov't's Resp.). It observes that "such questioning could violate the Confrontation Clause" under Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123 (1968). Id. At the same time, the Government urges the Court not to rule the confession entirely inadmissible because the defense may ask questions on cross-examination that elicit proper reference to the contents of Ms. Weeks' statement. Id. It points to Rules 401, 402, and 611(a)(1). Id. (citing FED. R. EVID. 401, 402, 611(a)(1)).

As the parties agree that Ms. Weeks' out-of-court statements in December, 2011 while in police custody are not generally admissible, the Court GRANTS the Defendant's Motion in Limine in part and confirms the Government's intention not to elicit such testimony from law enforcement officers during direct testimony. However, the Court cannot foresee the scope of the Defendant's cross-examination of the officers and it cannot rule Ms. Weeks' custodial statements necessarily inadmissible for all purposes. To the extent the Defendant seeks an order ruling the statement inadmissible even if he elicits it, the Court DENIES the motion in part.


John A. Woodcock, Jr.

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