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United States of America v. Israel Valadez-Nonato

October 6, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ISRAEL VALADEZ-NONATO, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

The Court has before it a motion to suppress the statement of Defendant Israel Valadez-Nonato ("Valadez"). The Court heard evidence on September 30, 2011, and granted the motion from the bench. This decision will elaborate on that ruling.*fn1

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Defendant Valadez is charged with armed bank robbery and possession of a firearm in furtherance of armed bank robbery. While in state custody, Valadez made incriminating statements to a police detective that he now seeks to suppress.

On July 2, 2010, Nampa City Police Corporal Angela Weekes interviewed Amanda Valadez, the defendant's wife, after Ms. Valadez contacted Nampa police concerning a domestic dispute with the defendant. During the interview, Ms. Valadez implicated her husband in the robbery of a Wells Fargo bank, located in Nampa, which had occurred on January 13, 2009. Local law enforcement obtained a warrant and arrested Valadez in Caldwell that evening.

Weekes interviewed Valadez in the Canyon County Jail the next morning, and made an audio recording of the conversation. She began by reading Valadez his Miranda rights. Valadez waived his rights, and agreed to talk to Weekes. Weekes then proceeded to question Valadez about his involvement in the Wells Fargo robbery. For the first forty-eight minutes of the interview, Valadez denied all involvement. At that point, the following exchange occurred:

Weekes: The desperate choice you made and I think if you had to go back and do it over Israel even as desperate as you were I don't think you would have done it. Because sometimes what happens when people are using any substance like drugs or alcohol, obviously when they are already experiencing a lot of emotional stuff going on and then they hit a rock bottom state, any alcohol or drugs everything involved in that lower inhibitions when you think about [unintelligible] other thought processes [unintelligible] rational for a period of time, and that complicates a lot of other stuff that's going on in your life Israel. Were you using at that time? That's an actual thing I don't know. Were you using back then Israel?

Valadez: I'll talk to my lawyer or something.

Weekes: You have every right to do that. I'll write in my report that I gave you a shot. Gave you a shot to be accountable and honest.

Valadez: [unintelligible]

Weekes: You know what?

Valadez: You want a yes or no and...

Weekes: It's a yes or no and it's to explain. That's all I can offer you. Your choice. ...


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