United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
J. Lodge States District Judge.
the Court in the above entitled matter is Defendant Robert
Wesley Warden's appeal of Magistrate Judge Candy W.
Dale's final judgment finding him guilty of the five
counts in the Superseding Indictment. (Dkt. 59, 73.)
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
charges in this case stem from events occurring at around
10:00 p.m. on September 15, 2012 when the Lewis County,
Idaho's emergency dispatch received a 911 call reporting
a domestic disturbance at a residence located in Kamiah,
Idaho within the external boundaries of the Nez Perce
Reservation. (Dkt. 106, Govt. Exs. 3, 3A.) The two adults
involved in the altercation, Mr. Warden and Pennie Moffett,
are both members of the Nez Perce Tribe. (Dkt. 106, Govt. Ex.
1.) Dispatch reported the call to the Nez Perce Tribal Police
(NPTP) and Kamiah Marshals Office. The NPTP Officers on duty
that night, Officers Kendall Bowser and Kirtus Gaston, were
located some distance away from the residence when they
received the call from dispatch and were unable to respond
quickly. Given the urgent nature of the call, NPTP Officer
Bowser requested that Kamiah Marshal Matthew Taylor respond
to the scene until the NPTP Officers could arrive.
Taylor responded to the reported location to find Ms. Moffett
had blood and bruises on her face and a knot on her forehead.
Marshal Taylor also noted that Ms. Moffett's two
daughters, who were present at the scene, were upset and
crying. Ms. Moffett reported to Marshal Taylor that Mr.
Warden had grabbed her, threw her to the ground, kicked her
in the face, and then pushed one of her daughters before
leaving. Mr. Warden was no longer at the residence at that
time. Marshal Taylor decided to remain at the home until the
NPTP Officers arrived.
minutes later, Mr. Warden returned to the home. Marshal
Taylor confronted Mr. Warden and told him that he was being
detained until the NPTP Officers arrived. (Dkt. 106, Govt.
Exs. 6, 6A.) Mr. Warden then began walking towards the
residence where Ms. Moffett and her daughters were located.
Marshal Taylor directed Mr. Warden to not approach the
residence or individuals. Mr. Warden continued walking
towards the residence. Marshal Taylor grabbed Mr.
Warden's arms and told Mr. Warden he was going to
handcuff him. Mr. Warden resisted and a physical struggle
ensued between Marshal Taylor and Mr. Warden. During the
struggle, Mr. Warden attempted to bite the Marshal. The two
eventually separated and verbally agreed to wait for the NPTP
Officers to arrive. The NPTP Officers arrived soon thereafter
and handcuffed Mr. Warden placing him under arrest.
Warden was placed in the NPTP Officers' patrol car where
he began kicking the interior of the vehicle and yelling.
(Dkt. 106, Govt. Exs. 11, 11A.) When the NPTP Officers went
to open the car's door to talk to him, Mr. Warden kicked
the door causing it to strike the Officers. The NPTP Officers
attempted to further restrain Mr. Warden who continued to
kick, bite, spit, and threaten the officers. Mr. Warden was
eventually arrested and taken to jail by the NPTP Officers.
September 17, 2012, the Nez Perce Tribal Prosecutor charged
Mr. Warden with resisting and obstructing arrest, battery on
a tribal officer, domestic violence, and battery on an
officer. (Dkt. 106, Govt. Ex. 2.) The tribal charges were
later dismissed on April 18, 2013. (Dkt. 106, Govt. Ex. 2.)
On August 20, 2013, the Government filed the Indictment in
this case charging Mr. Warden with assault of Marshal Taylor
in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(5) and 1152.
(Dkt. 1.) A Superseding Indictment was filed on November 19,
2013 which added charges against Mr. Warden alleging he
assaulted both of the NPTP Officers. (Dkt. 13.)
counsel was appointed to represent Mr. Warden. (Dkt. 25, 26.)
On May 6-7, 2014, a bench trial was held before Magistrate
Judge Dale where Mr. Warden was found guilty on all five
counts. (Dkt. 44, 45.) On August 27, 2014, the Court held a
sentencing hearing at which Mr. Warden elected to represent
himself. (Dkt. 57.) The Court sentenced Mr. Warden to four
months custody on each of Counts one through four, to run
concurrently, and six months custody on Count five, to run
consecutively, for a total of ten months incarceration. (Dkt.
57, 58.) Mr. Warden filed his pro se Notice of
Appeal on September 8, 2014. (Dkt. 59.) CJA counsel was
appointed to represent Mr. Warden in the appeal proceedings.
(Dkt. 75.) The parties have fully briefed the appeal
and this Court finds as follows. (Dkt. 73, 101, 102, 105,
United States Magistrate Judge had original federal
jurisdiction over this action, a Class B Misdemeanor,
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3401. Therefore, this Court has
jurisdiction over the appeal pursuant to Federal Rules of
Criminal Procedure 58(g)(2)(B) and (D) and Local Criminal
Rule 58.2. “The scope of appeal is the same as in an
appeal to the court of appeals from a judgment entered by a
district judge” Fed. R. Crim. Proc.
58(g)(2)(D)(“The defendant is not entitled to a trial
de novo by a district judge. The scope of the appeal is the
same as in an appeal to the court of appeals from a judgment
entered by a district judge.”); Local Criminal Rule
58.2 “Actual findings of the trial court which have
been expressed in findings of fact and conclusions of law are
subject to a clearly erroneous standard of review.”
United States v. Doremus, 658 F.Supp. 752, 754 (D.
Idaho 1987) (citing United States v. Bautista, 509
F.2d 675 (9th Cir. 1975). “Questions of law are subject
to de novo review.” Id. (citing United
States v. Nance, 666 F.2d 353 (9th Cir.
1982). Stated differently, this Court reviews
de novo a magistrate judge's legal conclusions
and reviews any underlying factual findings for clear error.
Quinn v. Robinson, 783 F.2d 776, 791 (9th Cir.1986);
Fed. R. Crim. P. 58(g)(2)(D). The challenged judgment is
reversible only if it is clearly erroneous or contrary to
law. See United States v. Ramirez, 555 F.Supp. 736,
738-39 (E.D. Cal. 1983); United States v. Li, 510
F.Supp. 276, 277 (D. Haw. 1981).