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United States v. Riggs

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia

September 7, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CORY LETROIT JOSEPH RIGGS, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION.

          JAMES E. SEIBERT U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The Defendant is a convicted felon and therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm. On June 6, 2017, the Grand Jury indicted him for one count of unlawful possession of a firearm as well as a forfeiture allegation.

         The Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence. The Court held a hearing regarding these motions on September 5, 2017. The Defendant appeared in person and by his counsel Robert McCoid, Esq. The Government appeared through its counsel Stephen L. Vogrin, Esq.

         For the below listed reasons, The Court is not persuaded by Defendant's motion and recommends that it be denied.

         II. FINDINGS OF FACT

         On April 4, 2017, police got a call about a shoplifting incident in which a young woman had stolen a bottle of liquor from a gas station. Police made contact with a woman sitting across the street from the gas station drinking liquor from a bottle. The woman originally claimed to be twenty-one years of age, but police discovered soon after that she was actually twenty. After initially denying having stolen the bottle, the woman admitted to having stolen the liquor and was arrested.

         After being arrested, the woman told officers about an incident in which she alleged she had been strangled in a local hotel room by a man she called “Cory, ” who she described as being 6'5” with dreadlocks. She stated that she had been staying in a hotel room with Cory since April 1, 2017, and that they had been involved in a sexual relationship.

         The woman claimed that the Defendant got back to the hotel room after being at work, and was angry with her for having another man in the room while he was gone, which she admitted to police was true. She said she was lying in bed, when the Defendant grabbed her from the bed, choked her, and put a gun in her face. The woman says the Defendant then demanded she leave. She described the gun as being a black handgun, and the type you have to “pull back” to load.

         The detective observed that the woman had scratches on her neck and chest. The detective also observed that the woman's hand was swollen, but the woman claimed that the swollen hand was from an unrelated incident.

         The police then went to the hotel to make contact with the Defendant. Upon arrival, the hotel manager asked if they were there about the incident involving a young woman and a man named Cory who was staying at the hotel. The officer confirmed they were, and the hotel manager stated that the Defendant was staying in room 401.

         The Defendant confirmed the relationship, and admitted that he had been upset after being told by the hotel manager that the woman had brought a man to the room when he was at work. Defendant also claimed to have found used condoms or condom wrappers in the bed.

         Defendant denied a physical altercation or pointing a gun at the woman. Defendant claimed that he confronted her about having another man in the room and asked her to leave, but that it never escalated to physical violence. Defendant stated that the woman had injured her hand by repeatedly striking the window in anger after he asked her to leave. Defendant claimed upon him demanding she leave, she demanded he give her money. Defendant stated that he gave her ten dollars, and she left.

         Police asked the Defendant if he would consent to a search of his hotel room, but the Defendant refused. Defendant was then taken ...


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