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United States of America v. Raymond Anthony Napolitan

August 3, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RAYMOND ANTHONY NAPOLITAN,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

ELECTRONICALLY FILED

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant, Raymond Anthony Napolitan's, Motion to Suppress Evidence. Doc. No. 27. The Court held a suppression hearing on the matter on August 1, 2012, at which time only witness, Officer Erick Gatewood, testified on behalf of the Government. In light of this Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of law, set forth below, the Motion to Suppress will be denied.

I. Findings of Fact

1. On June 29, 2007, Officer Gatewood, an employee of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department, and who was alone in a patrol car, received a call from the 911 Center dispatcher to respond to a call taken by the 911 Center. Three other police officers from the same police department responded to the same call from the dispatcher.

2. Officer Gatewood understood from the 911 Center dispatcher that a domestic dispute was in progress at 248 Hamilton Avenue -- specifically, that a woman was being held against her will in her home by her boyfriend, the Defendant.

3. Within two minutes, Officer Gatewood pulled in front of the one-story home and was joined by the other officers. After noting a white pick-up truck parked on the street in front of the house, Officer Gatewood ran the tags and determined the truck belonged to Defendant.

4. Officer Gatewood went to the front door of the home and attempted to make contact with the occupants, to no avail. After checking both the front and back doors, finding them locked, and not getting any response from the occupants, Officer Gatewood called the 911 Center.

5. The 911 Center provided Officer Gatewood the name and telephone number of the caller, a third party, Amanda Culbreth. Officer Gatewood called Ms. Culbreth, who claimed she had received a text message from Lisa Rodemoyer, who resided with Defendant. Ms. Culbreth said the text message indicated that if Ms. Rodemoyer called the police, Defendant said he would kill her before the police arrived.

6. Ms. Culbreth also told Officer Gatewood that Ms. Rodemoyer and Defendant had two vehicles a white pick-up and a green Grand Prix. She also provided Officer Gatewood with Ms. Rodemoyer's and Defendant's respective cell phone numbers.

7. When Officer Gatewood called Ms. Rodemoyer's cell phone, he received no answer. When he called Defendant's phone, Ms. Rodemoyer answered that phone and spoke to Officer Gatewood. Supresssion Hrg. Tr., p. 10.

8. Officer Gatewood asked Ms. Rodemoyer if she was "okay" and asked if she was alone. She advised him that she was "okay" and that she was alone, but she "seemed nervous on the phone" and upset -- as if she was crying or had been crying. She was also "pausing at her answers" when he asked her a question. After Ms. Rodemoyer told Officer Gatewood that she was "getting dinner" at Kentucky Fried Chicken, he asked her to return to her home to "get this cleared up." Id., pp. 10-11.

9. Ms. Rodemoyer returned to the house, driving a green Grand Prix, and as she exited the car he noticed that her face was red and she started to cry as soon as Officer Gatewood began talking to one another. Id., pp. 11-12.

10. When asked, Ms. Rodemoyer told Officer Gatewood that she had taken Defendant to a friend's house and that he was no longer ...


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