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United States v. Raglin

December 20, 2005

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF
v.
RODNEY M. RAGLIN DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James M. Moody United States District Judge

ORDER

Pending before the Court is the Motion in Limine filed by the United States of America. After a full hearing and considering the arguments and cases presented, the Court hereby GRANTS the Plaintiff's Motion in Limine (#30).

Defendant was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(1), after he brandished a gun at undercover police. For the reasons stated in open court, the Court precludes any evidence to be presented on the affirmative defense of entrapment at the Defendant's criminal trial. The Court then took the question of whether the Defendant would be allowed to present evidence on the defense of justification under advisement.

The Defendant stated to police after the arrest that he was afraid the undercover police officers on his property were members of a gang. He lives in a gang neighborhood, and has been shot at on two previous occasions without provocation.

The Plaintiff argues that the Defendant should be prohibited from presenting evidence in support of justification in this case. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has stated that, ". . . we have consistently refused to recognize justification as a defense where the defendant failed to pursue lawful options, particularly when violating [18 U.S.C.] § 922(g)(1)." USA v. Bell, 411 F.3d 960, 964 (8th Cir. 2005).

From the evidence presented, Defendant Raglin could have pursued lawful options. According to his testimony, he had time to go to an abandoned house nearby to obtain the gun before brandishing it. In that time, he could have sought help from the police.

Therefore, the Defendant is precluded from presenting evidence at trial of entrapment and/or justification.

IT IS SO ORDERED this 20th day of December, 2005.

20051220

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