United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY ON THE PARTIES' PENDING MOTIONS AND
DEFENDANT'S OBJECTIONS TO THE GOVERNMENT'S EXHIBIT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on two Motions in Limine
filed by the United States of America (the
“Government”) (Filing No. 81; Filing
No. 82) and a Reverse 404(b) Notice of United States
Witnesses Mr. and Mrs. Woosley and Objection to the United
States Bringing in any Prior Bad Acts and Especially
Uncharged Heroin filed by Defendant Sevon Thomas
(“Thomas”) (Filing No. 83;
Filing No. 84). Neither party filed response briefs
to the pending motions. Also, before the Court is Thomas'
Objections to Government's Exhibit List (Filing No.
67). For the reasons stated below the Government's
Motions in Limine are granted in part and
denied in part, Thomas' Motion regarding 404(b)
evidence is granted, and Thomas'
Objections are sustained or taken
is charged with Count 1: Possession with Intent to Distribute
Methamphetamine and Count 2: Possession of a Firearm in
Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. The jury trial in
this matter is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 14,
Government's First Motion in Limine
Court excludes evidence on a motion in limine only
if the evidence clearly is not admissible for any purpose.
See Hawthorne Partners v. AT&T Technologies,
Inc., 831 F.Supp. 1398, 1400 (N.D. Ill. 1993). Unless
evidence meets this exacting standard, evidentiary rulings
must be deferred until trial, so questions of foundation,
relevancy, and prejudice may be resolved in context.
Id. at 1400-01. Moreover, denial of a motion in
limine does not necessarily mean that all evidence
contemplated by the motion is admissible; rather, it only
means that, at the pretrial stage, the court is unable to
determine whether the evidence should be excluded.
Id. at 1401.
Government intends to offer the following evidence at trial.
On July 20, 2017, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of
a vehicle occupied by Lyndal Woosley (“Mr.
Woosley”) and Lauren Woosley (“Mrs.
Woosley”). Crystal methamphetamine was in the vehicle.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Woosley admitted to being involved in
distributing methamphetamine in Southern Indiana and admitted
to having three drug suppliers for multiple ounces of
methamphetamine. They identified Thomas as one of those
Government intends to call Mr. and Mrs. Woosley as witnesses
in its case in chief. Thomas' counsel represented at the
final pretrial conference that Mr. Woosley sold a gun to
Thomas, and he would elicit testimony about this fact during
the testimony of Thomas' fiancé. In its first
Motion in Limine (Filing No. 81), the
Government asks the Court to order Thomas not to make any
statement about the alleged misconduct of Mr. Woosley that is
not in evidence unless Thomas first proffers evidence at a
sidebar showing a good faith basis that the conduct occurred
and that the alleged misconduct involves Mr. Woosley's
Rule of Evidence 608(b) states:
Except for a criminal conviction under Rule 609, extrinsic
evidence is not admissible to prove specific instances of a
witness's conduct in order to attack or support the
witness's character for truthfulness. But the court may,
on cross-examination, allow them to be inquired into if they
are probative of the character for truthfulness or
(1) the witness; or
(2) another witness whose character the witness being
cross-examined has testified about.
The Government argues,
Any testimony regarding this is “extrinsic”
character evidence and is inadmissible. The issue is whether
the “specific instance” cast doubt on the
witness' reliability to tell the truth. See United
States v. Abair, 746 F.3d 260, 263 (7th Cir. 2014).
Obviously, the alleged selling of a firearm has nothing to do
with truthfulness. It ...