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United States v. Bailey

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 5, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff- Appellee,
Timothy Jerome Bailey, Defendant-Appellant.

          Submitted: May 20, 2016

         Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - St. Paul

          Before RILEY, Chief Judge, COLLOTON and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

          COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

         Timothy Bailey appeals from his conviction for possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon. Bailey contends that the district court[1] erred in denying a motion to suppress his recorded post-arrest statements, and that the government produced insufficient evidence to support a judgment of conviction. We affirm.


         On March 25, 2014, Officer Daniel Irish of the Champlin Police Department stopped a vehicle because Bailey, who was riding in the front passenger seat, was not wearing a seatbelt. After the vehicle stopped, Bailey got out and ran through a nearby residential neighborhood, with Irish giving chase. Bailey jumped over a fence into a yard owned by the Xiong family, stumbling and falling to the ground as he landed.

         Irish testified that before jumping the Xiongs' fence, Bailey was running with his left hand holding up the waistband of his pants. Shortly after Bailey fell, Irish noticed that Bailey was no longer holding onto his waistband. Bailey jumped over another fence out of the Xiongs' yard and crossed the street, where he was able to evade Irish's pursuit.

         Irish called for back up, and a police canine unit eventually found Bailey hiding behind a garage. Police arrested Bailey and placed him in the back of Irish's squad car. The car was equipped with an internal video-recording device that recorded Bailey's actions and words.

         Because Bailey was not carrying identification, Irish parked in front of the Xiongs' house and asked for headquarters to send a mobile fingerprinting unit. While he waited for the fingerprinting unit to arrive, Irish asked Bailey his name, why he ran away, whether he had a criminal history, and whether there were any warrants for his arrest. Irish also asked Bailey whether he knew about other crimes in the neighborhood, suggesting that he might be able to "stay out of jail" by cooperating. Irish did not read Bailey his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444 (1966).

         While Bailey and Irish sat in the squad car, Chia Koua Xiong ran up to the vehicle and told Irish that his grandchildren had found a gun in his yard. Irish followed Xiong into his home, where Xiong showed him the gun. Irish asked Xiong to show him where the gun was recovered, and Xiong took Irish into the backyard and pointed toward the fence on the west side of the yard. Irish recognized it as the fence that Bailey had stumbled over earlier. Irish walked over to the fence and discovered a cellular telephone near where the gun was discovered. Irish collected the gun and the phone as evidence and returned to his squad car.

         While Irish was investigating the Xiongs' discovery of a gun, Bailey remained in Irish's squad car with the internal video-recording device activated. Immediately after Irish exited the squad car and followed Xiong to his home, the camera captured Bailey saying, "Damn, they found that gun. F***. Damn. F***. Oh, man. Damn." The recording also shows that Bailey was exasperated and upset when Xiong reported finding the gun. Bailey talked to himself in the back of the squad car for approximately two minutes, repeatedly swearing and complaining that Xiong was a "bitch" and "nosy."

         After Irish returned to his squad car, the mobile fingerprinting unit arrived, and Irish identified Bailey. Irish then transported Bailey to the local detention center. As Irish was turning Bailey over to detention staff, Bailey asked about the cell phone in a manner that, according to Irish, indicated that the phone was Bailey's.

         A grand jury charged Bailey with possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2). Bailey stipulated that he was a convicted felon and that the firearm had traveled in interstate commerce, so the only disputed issue for trial was whether Bailey knowingly possessed the firearm. Bailey moved to suppress the statements he made while in the squad car after Irish left the vehicle, contending the statements were made in response to custodial interrogation. The district court found that Bailey's statements were not in response to interrogation and denied the motion to suppress.

         At trial, Irish testified consistent with the facts described above, and the government presented the recorded statements that Bailey made while he sat alone in Irish's squad car. Chia Xiong and his wife, Kia Xiong, testified about how their grandchildren discovered the firearm in their yard. The ...

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