U.S. v. Johnson, No. CR 01-3046-MWB.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
Writing for the CourtBennett
Citation362 F.Supp.2d 1043
Docket NumberNo. CR 01-3046-MWB.
Decision Date18 February 2005
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Angela JOHNSON, Defendant.
362 F.Supp.2d 1043
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Angela JOHNSON, Defendant.
No. CR 01-3046-MWB.
United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division.
February 18, 2005.

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Alfred E. Willett, Terpstra, Epping & Willett, Cedar Rapids, IA, Dean A. Stowers, Rosenberg, Stowers & Morse, Des Moines, IA, Patrick J. Berrigan, Watson & Dameron, LLP, Kansas City, MO, Robert R. Rigg, Des Moines, IA, for Defendant.

Charles J. Williams, Patrick J. Reinert, U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA, Thomas Henry Miller, Des Moines, IA, for Plaintiff.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING THE PARTIES' SECOND ROUND OF PRETRIAL MOTIONS

BENNETT, Chief Judge.


 TABLE OF CONTENTS
                 I. BACKGROUND ................................................................1049
                 A. The Original And Superseding Indictments ..............................1049
                 B. The Co-Defendant's Trial ..............................................1051
                 C. The Pretrial Motions In Johnson's Case ................................1052
                 II. LEGAL ANALYSIS ............................................................1053
                 A. The Government's Motion For Victim Witnesses To Be Present
                 During Trial ........................................................1053
                 1. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1053
                 2. Analysis ..........................................................1054
                 a. Consideration of the government's supplemental argument........1054
                 b. Section 3510(b) ...............................................1055
                 c. Section 3771 ..................................................1055
                 B. The Government's Motion To Use Witness Photographs During
                 Arguments ............................................................1056
                 1. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1056
                 2. Analysis ..........................................................1058
                 a. Latitude and discretion .......................................1058
                 b. "Summary" exhibits ............................................1058
                 c. "Demonstrative" exhibits ......................................1059
                 d. Use of the photographs here ...................................1060
                 C. The Government's Motion To Determine Admissibility Of Audio
                 Recordings ..........................................................1063
                 1. Factual background ................................................1063
                 2. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1064
                 3. Analysis ..........................................................1065
                 D. Government's Motion Concerning The Number Of Peremptory
                 Challenges .........................................................1069
                

Page 1048

 1. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1069
                 2. Analysis ..........................................................1071
                 E. The Government's Motion For Court-Ordered Mental Examination Of
                 The Defendant .......................................................1074
                 1. Background ........................................................1074
                 2. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1075
                 3. Analysis ..........................................................1076
                 a. Rule 12.2 .....................................................1076
                 b. Rule 12.2(b): Defendant's notice
                 i. Purpose of the provision ................................1077
                 ii. The sufficiency of Johnson's notices ....................1077
                 c. Rule 12.2(c)(1): Court-ordered examination ....................1081
                 i. The pertinent provision and its purpose .................1081
                 ii. Johnson's request for an "outside taint team" ...........1082
                 iii. Johnson's demand for notice .............................1085
                 iv. Johnson's demand for Fifth and Sixth Amendment
                 protections ...........................................1085
                 v. Summary .................................................1091
                 d. Rule 12.2(c)(2) & (3): Disclosure and use of results.......1091
                 F. The Defendant's Motion To Strike The Death Penalty ....................1092
                 1. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1092
                 2. Analysis ..........................................................1094
                 G. The Defendant's Motion To Exclude Prior Jury Determinations As To
                 Honken ..............................................................1094
                 1. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1095
                 2. Analysis ..........................................................1096
                 a. Honken's 1997 conviction ......................................1096
                 b. Honken's 2004 conviction and verdict for a death sentence......1096
                 H. The Defendant's Motion For A Bill Of Particulars ......................1097
                 1. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1097
                 2. Analysis ..........................................................1097
                 I. The Defendant's Motion To Strike Certain Allegations In Counts 6
                 Through 10 ..........................................................1098
                 1. Arguments of the parties ..........................................1098
                 2. Analysis ..........................................................1098
                 J. The Defendant's Motion To Trifurcate The Proceedings ..................1099
                 1. Arguments of the parties...........................................1099
                 a. Written submissions ...........................................1099
                 b. Oral arguments ................................................1100
                 c. Post-hearing inquiry ..........................................1102
                 2. Analysis ..........................................................1103
                 a. Constitutional requirements ...................................1103
                 b. Other grounds for "trifurcation" ..............................1104
                 i. Statutory limitations on the "information" presented at
                 sentencing ............................................1104
                 ii. "Probative value" .......................................1105
                 iii. "Prejudice" .............................................1106
                 iv. "Confusion of the issues" ...............................1109
                 v. "Misleading the jury" ...................................1109
                 c. The remedy ....................................................1110
                III. CONCLUSION ................................................................1111
                

The court recently resolved a dozen pretrial motions in this federal death-penalty case, some of which required the court and the parties to explore terra incognita. See United States v. Johnson, 354 F.Supp2d 939 (N.D.Iowa 2005). Several more pretrial motions, filed subsequently, were

Page 1049

mooted by the government's voluntary dismissal of the two non-capital charges against this defendant. Nevertheless, this matter is now before the court on a "second," and hopefully "final," round of pretrial motions involving nearly as many, and nearly as varied, motions as the "first round." Some of the motions attempt to resolve, before trial, issues that arose during the separate trial of a co-defendant in a companion case, but others require the court and the parties to make further incursions into terra incognita.

I. BACKGROUND

To provide the necessary background to the present group of pretrial motions, the court must once again review the charges and the key procedural history in this case against Angela Johnson and the separate case against co-defendant Dustin Honken. The court must also add certain important incidents in that history that have occurred since the court's ruling on the "first round" of motions. The review of the charges and procedural history begins with the two indictments filed against Johnson

A. The Original And Superseding Indictments

In two separate indictments, a grand jury charged defendant Angela Johnson with a variety of offenses arising, principally, from her alleged involvement in the murders in 1993 of five witnesses to the drug-trafficking activities of Johnson's sometime boyfriend, Dustin Honken. The grand jury handed down the first seven-count indictment on July 26, 2000, and the second ten-count indictment on August 30, 2001. On April 25, 2002, the government filed its original notice in each case of its intent to seek the death penalty on all of the charges against Johnson relating to the murder of witnesses, that is, Counts 1 through 5 of the first indictment and all ten of the charges in the second indictment. Those notices identified the factors that the government contends warrant the imposition of the death penalty under the applicable death-penalty statutes.

On August 23, 2002, the government filed superseding indictments in both cases against Johnson. The superseding indictment in the first case against Johnson, Case No. CR 00-3034-MWB, reiterated and expanded the seven counts of the original indictment. It charged the following offenses: five counts of aiding and abetting the murders of witnesses Gregory Nicholson, Lori Duncan (Nicholson's friend), Amber Duncan and Kandi Duncan (Lori Duncan's daughters, ages 6 and 10, respectively), and Terry DeGeus, respectively, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(a)(1)(A) and (C), 1512(a)(2)(A) or 1513(a)(1)(A) and (C),1 1111, and 2; one count of aiding and abetting the solicitation of the murders of witnesses Timothy Cutkomp and Daniel Cobeen, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 373(a)(1) and 2; and one count of conspiracy to interfere with all seven witnesses, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.

The August 23, 2002, superseding indictment in Case No. CR 01-3046-MWB, like the original indictment in that case, charged Johnson with five counts of killing witnesses while engaging in a drug-trafficking conspiracy ("conspiracy murder"), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 2; and five counts of killing the same witnesses in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise...

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55 practice notes
  • United States v. Johnson, No. CR 01–3046–MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • March 5, 2013
    ...factors, whether the aggravating factors are themselves sufficient to justify a sentence of death.’ ” See United States v. Johnson, 362 F.Supp.2d 1043, 1099–1111 (N.D.Iowa 2005) (quoting 21 U.S.C. § 848(k)).United States v. Johnson, 403 F.Supp.2d 721, 747 (N.D.Iowa 2005). Johnson is correct......
  • U.S. v. Bolden, No. 06-3264.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 4, 2008
    ...444 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1309 (M.D.Ga.2006); United States v. Mayhew, 380 F.Supp.2d 936, 955-57 (S.D.Oh.2005); United States v. Johnson, 362 F.Supp.2d 1043, 1099-1111 (N.D.Ia.2005) (tried under 21 U.S.C. § 848, not the FDPA), aff'd (without discussing this issue), 495 F.3d 951 (8th Cir.2007); Un......
  • Jackson v. U.S., No. Civ. 1:04CV251.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Western District of North Carolina
    • June 19, 2009
    ...refused to bifurcate the penalty phase as argued here); United States v. Fell, 372 F.Supp.2d 753 (D.Vt.2005); United States v. Johnson, 362 F.Supp.2d 1043 (N.D.Iowa 2005), aff'd, 495 F.3d 951 (8th Page 613 cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 756, 172 L.Ed.2d 747 (2008); Evans v. Smith, 54......
  • Maldonado v. Superior Court of San Mateo Cnty., No. S183961.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 23, 2012
    ...and insulated from, the criminal case, who are appointed solely to manage the examinations. (See, e.g., U.S. v. Johnson (N.D.Iowa 2005) 362 F.Supp.2d 1043, 1084; U.S. v. Sampson (D.Mass.2004) 335 F.Supp.2d 166, 244–245.) But no sound reason appears to apply such procedures where, as here, t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
55 cases
  • United States v. Johnson, No. CR 01–3046–MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • March 5, 2013
    ...factors, whether the aggravating factors are themselves sufficient to justify a sentence of death.’ ” See United States v. Johnson, 362 F.Supp.2d 1043, 1099–1111 (N.D.Iowa 2005) (quoting 21 U.S.C. § 848(k)).United States v. Johnson, 403 F.Supp.2d 721, 747 (N.D.Iowa 2005). Johnson is correct......
  • U.S. v. Bolden, No. 06-3264.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 4, 2008
    ...444 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1309 (M.D.Ga.2006); United States v. Mayhew, 380 F.Supp.2d 936, 955-57 (S.D.Oh.2005); United States v. Johnson, 362 F.Supp.2d 1043, 1099-1111 (N.D.Ia.2005) (tried under 21 U.S.C. § 848, not the FDPA), aff'd (without discussing this issue), 495 F.3d 951 (8th Cir.2007); Un......
  • Jackson v. U.S., No. Civ. 1:04CV251.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Western District of North Carolina
    • June 19, 2009
    ...refused to bifurcate the penalty phase as argued here); United States v. Fell, 372 F.Supp.2d 753 (D.Vt.2005); United States v. Johnson, 362 F.Supp.2d 1043 (N.D.Iowa 2005), aff'd, 495 F.3d 951 (8th Page 613 cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 756, 172 L.Ed.2d 747 (2008); Evans v. Smith, 54......
  • Maldonado v. Superior Court of San Mateo Cnty., No. S183961.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 23, 2012
    ...and insulated from, the criminal case, who are appointed solely to manage the examinations. (See, e.g., U.S. v. Johnson (N.D.Iowa 2005) 362 F.Supp.2d 1043, 1084; U.S. v. Sampson (D.Mass.2004) 335 F.Supp.2d 166, 244–245.) But no sound reason appears to apply such procedures where, as here, t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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