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United States v. Gasaway

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

November 6, 2019




         This matter is before the Court on Shaunt Gasaway's Motion in Limine [DE 49] and Motion to Suppress [DE 50]. The United States responded. [DE 52; DE 55]. This matter is ripe. For the reasons below, Gasaway's Motion in Limine [DE 49] will be DENIED AS MOOT and the Motion to Suppress [DE 50] will be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On October 10, 2018, Louisville Metro Police Department (“LMPD”) officers were dispatched to a reported shooting at the College Court Apartments in Louisville, Kentucky. [DE 31 at 88-89; DE Investigative Letter 24-2 at 67]. Officer Corniel and other officers rendered aid, secured the crime scene, and waited for homicide detectives to arrive. [DE 31 at 89; DE 24-2 at 67]. At the time, there was no shooter in custody. [DE 31 at 121-122]. While waiting for the homicide detectives to complete their investigation, several officers noticed a group of bystanders screaming and running away from a male suspect, later identified as Shaunt Gasaway (“Gasaway”). [DE 31 at 90; DE 24-2 at 67].

         Officer Corniel saw Gasaway approach the crime scene, holding a handgun and wearing plastic gloves. [DE 31 at 90, 101; DE 24-2 at 67]. Officer Corniel's partner yelled “gun, ” alerting the officers that an armed individual was approaching them. [DE 31 at 90]. Officers drew their guns, commanding Gasaway to stop and drop the handgun. [Id.; DE 24-2 at 67]. Ignoring the officers' orders, Gasaway crouched near a bush, stood upright, and then “bladed his body away . . . concealing his body or maybe concealing something in his hand.” [Id.; DE 24-2 at 67]. When Gasaway “raised back up, ” Officer Corniel could “no longer identify where” the handgun was located. [DE 31 at 96]. Unable to see the gun, Officer Corniel ran towards Gasaway. Id. Officer Corniel performed a “controlled takedown” and-because Gasaway “actively resisted” and refused to put his “hands behind his back”- dry stunned Gasaway with a taser. [DE 31 at 95-96].

         Officer Corniel and Officer Coleman escorted Gasaway to Officer Corniel's police cruiser. While walking to the cruiser, Officer Corniel told Gasaway: “After I get all your information and find out who you are, I'm going to read you your rights. And then after I read you your rights, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions and obviously you can choose to answer them or not, ok.” [Rotated CornielAfter take down to vehicle (hereafter, “Corniel 1”), 02:51-03:05]. Officer Coleman guarded Gasaway while Officer Corniel verified his information. [Colemanwalking def to and outside vehicle (hereafter “Coleman 1”), 01:50]. Gasaway sat on the hood of the cruiser, his hands handcuffed behind his back, a cigarette in his mouth. Id. at 01:40-01:48. When Officer Corniel walked away, Officer Coleman and Gasaway had the following conversation:

Corniel: We'll talk when I get back. (Corniel walks away).
Gasaway: Dude.
Coleman: You know what happened tonight?
Gasaway: Man, nah I don't know what happened tonight. I just know what . . .
Coleman: You say this one? (Adjusting Gasaway's handcuffs).
Gasaway: Yes. I just know what happened. I just know what happened to my orientation. What the fuck is this? I ain't ready say he . . . Dude pulled a gun out on me in the archway. Yes, sir.
Coleman: I'm going to lock it man, don't move.
Gasaway: Loosen up. I'm feeling threatened, ok? Simple as that . . .
Coleman: That's fine.
Gasaway: I know you ain't going to say . . . I actually did, man . . . I don't mean . . . you know, you all had to do what you had to do . . . put these extra charges on me . . . but, actually I did, man. Real talk, man.
Coleman: So what happened? I'm just curious.
Gasaway: I, I, I, bullshit . . . I don't know what happened with that incident . . .
Coleman: It didn't have nothing to do with your incident . . .
Gasaway: No, sir. I bullshit you not. It had nothing to do with my incident.
Coleman: I believe you.
Gasaway: Actually, I got a phone call…when somebody . . . a little friend of mine just left the house . . . he like was shit, you know . . . police is all out here . . . so I come out here.
Coleman: They told you we was out here? Why would you bring a gun out?
Gasaway: Huh.
Coleman: If they told you we was out here, why would you bring a gun?
Gasaway: I came out the first time . . . I came out the first time . . . when you all was putting him on the stretcher, taking him away.
Coleman: Ok.
Gasaway: And I go back in the house . . . so I come back out and my little girl like should we see what is going on . . . come back out . . . so as we going back in the house . . .

Id. 01:48-0:320

         Before Gasaway could finish his statement to Officer Coleman, Officer Corniel returned and read him his Miranda rights. [Corniel 1, 05:27-5:48]. Gasaway waived his Miranda rights and then ...

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