United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
REBECCA GRANDY JENNINGS JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Johnathan
Hoyer's (“Hoyer”) Motion to Suppress Evidence
(the “Motion to Suppress”). [DE 18]. The Court
held an evidentiary hearing and the matter is now ripe. [DE
26]. For the reasons below, the Court will GRANT Mr.
Hoyer's Motion to Suppress [DE 18].
April 18, 2019, Kentucky State Police (“KSP”)
Detective Zack Morris responded to an advertisement posted by
Hoyer on Double List seeking to engage in sexual acts with a
“woman.” [DE 27 at 71, 88]. Over a five to
six-day period, Detective Morris, working undercover,
“chatted” with Hoyer as “Brittany, ”
a 41-year-old female, and “Autumn, ”
Brittany's underage daughter. Id. at 71-72, 82.
The conversations were overtly sexual. Id. Hoyer
eventually agreed to meet them in the Jeffersontown area of
Louisville, Kentucky. Id.
April 24, 2018, Hoyer traveled to meet Brittney and Autumn,
but instead KSP Detectives met Hoyer and
“secured” him. Id. at 75. They placed
Hoyer in the front passenger seat of the KSP interview van.
Id. at 72, 77. Detective Morris and Lieutenant Mike
Bowling interviewed Hoyer. Id. at 78. Hoyer told the
detectives he wanted to cooperate and spoke freely.
Id. at 83.
the detectives asked Hoyer for his identifying information,
they asked him, “Why are we here?” [DE 29,
Exhibit 1, 00:15-1:35]. In response, Hoyer explained that he
was there because a “woman answered one of [his] ads .
. . [he] was having a little bit of fun . . . when she
answered [him] . . . how about a girl, a woman and her
daughter . . . at first [he] was like . . .what? So [they]
talked and [they] talked . . . [He] had literally every
intention of showing up [there] and kinda talking to her,
maybe she had issues and so forth because again [he has] an
eight-year old son [himself] so . . . [he] wasn't.”
Id. at 1:36-2:14. Detective Morris then asked Hoyer
about the ad he had posted, asked for the woman's name,
and asked follow-up questions about the woman's underage
daughter. Id. at 2:15-2:50. Hoyer answered all of
Detective Morris' questions and admitted that Brittney
essentially propositioned him to have sex with both her and
her daughter. Id. at 3:10-3:35. Detective Morris
also asked him what he spoke with Brittney about, and Hoyer
said that he was “going to perform oral sex on both her
and her daughter . . . but . . . [he] was playing along with
the fact that again the way the conversation was occurring .
. . [he] could tell it was the same person . . . so [he] just
thought ok she had some weird, fun fetish at that
point.” Id. at 3:50-4:15.
than four minutes into the interrogation, Detective Morris
stated to Hoyer that “I'm going to read you your
rights, ok. And something we gotta do for paperwork and stuff
. . . consent and all that kind of stuff.” [DE 29,
Exhibit 1, 4:22-4:30]. Detective Morris then stated
“You are not under arrest. We're just here to talk
to you.” [DE 29, Exhibit 1, 4:32-4:35]. The Detective
gave Hoyer his Miranda rights and obtained a signed waiver.
Id. Detective Morris testified that he did not
intentionally delay giving Hoyer his Miranda rights; rather,
it was a “lapse in judgment.” [DE 27 at 84].
After Detective Morris read Hoyer his Miranda rights, Hoyer
continued to speak to the detectives about the incident and
his conversations with Brittney and Autumn. The interrogation
lasted 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 34 seconds. [DE 29, Exhibit
grand jury charged Hoyer with attempted enticement. [DE 1].
Hoyer has now moved to suppress his statements. [DE 18]. The
Court held a suppression hearing [DE 26], and the parties
filed post-hearing briefs. [DE 30; DE 31].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
is well settled that in seeking suppression of evidence the
burden of proof is upon the defendant to display a violation
of some constitutional or statutory right justifying
suppression.” United States v.
Rodriquez-Suazo, 346 F.3d 637, 643 (6th Cir. 2003)
(quoting United States v. Feldman, 606 F.2d 673, 679
n.11 (6th Cir. 1979). The Sixth Circuit has made clear that
the burden of proof on the defendant requesting suppression
extends to both “the burden of production and
persuasion.” United States v. Chaar, 137 F.3d
359, 363 (6th Cir. 1998); United States v. Patel,
579 Fed.Appx. 449, 453 (6th Cir. 2014).
person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a
witness against himself.” U.S. Const. Amend. V. In
Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court, in prescribing
safeguards for the effectuation of the Fifth Amendment, held
that “the prosecution may not use statements . . .
stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless
it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to
secure the privilege against self-incrimination.” 384
U.S. 436, 444 (1966). The safeguards “prescribed by
Miranda are to ensure that the police do not coerce or trick
captive suspects into confessing.” Berkemer v.
McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 433 (1984). If a suspect is
interrogated while in custody and he does not voluntarily,
knowingly, and intelligently waive his Miranda rights, any
statements he makes to the police must be suppressed.
Id. at 429.
suspect is in custody if, under the totality of the
circumstances, a reasonable person would not feel free to end
the interrogation by the police and leave. See Yarborough
v. Alvarado, 541 U.S. 652, 663 (2004). Police
interrogation includes “not only. . . express
questioning, but also . . . any words or actions on the part
of the police (other than those normally attendant to arrest
and custody) that the police should know are reasonably
likely to elicit an incriminating response.” Rhode
Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291, 301 (1980).
moves to suppress all pre-and post-Miranda statements made by
Hoyer at the scene of his detention on grounds that he made
these statements as part of a custodial interrogation without
first being effectively advised of and knowingly and
intelligently waiving his Miranda rights. [DE 18 at 45]. At
the evidentiary hearing the United States agreed that all of
Hoyer's statements were made while he was in custody. [DE
27 at 69] The United States further conceded that those
statements made by Hoyer before being given his Miranda
rights were improperly obtained and should be suppressed.
Id. The United States contends, however, that after
being given the Miranda warning, Hoyer made a knowing and
voluntary decision to waive his rights. [DE 30 at 108]. ...