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United States v. Doak

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

May 7, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
MACK DOAK and JAYCEE DOAK, Defendants.

          ORDER ON MOTIONS HEARING

          KRISTI K. DuBOSE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The Court held a hearing on May 6, 2019 to address multiple pending motions in this criminal case. Those present for the hearing included Defendants Mack Doak and Jaycee Doak, Defendants' counsel Latisha Colvin and Joe Carl Jordan, and Assistant United States Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu, Katherine Chappelear, and Maria E. Murphy. This Order summarizes the Court's decisions announced during the hearing.

         Daubert Motions

         Both Defendants challenged two of the Government's proposed expert witnesses, Jane Agee and Janetta Michaels. (Docs. 68-71). During the hearing, the Government reiterated that it anticipates Agee will testify primarily as a fact witness. The Court stated that Agee will be permitted to testify as a fact witness, but that she could not testify to her conclusions in the case. The Court denied the Daubert motions challenging Michaels, with leave to renew the motions before Michaels' testimony.[1]The Daubert motions are DENIED.

         Government's Two Motions in Limine

          The Government filed two motions in limine. The first is an omnibus motion in limine that addresses 17 separate matters. In general, both Defendants responded that they would comply with relevant Court and evidentiary rules. The Court addressed three issues in particular that the motion raised. Aside from the matters addressed in the hearing related to this motion, the motion (Doc. 75) is MOOT.

         The second is a motion in limine to exclude Defendants from making any reference to the victims' sexual behavior or predisposition, pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 412. Defendant Mack Doak's counsel responded that she would comply. The Government's second motion in limine (Doc. 77) is GRANTED.

         Government's Motions for Pretrial Rulings on Admissibility

          The Government filed two motions for pretrial rulings on admissibility. The first concerns videos of Victims 1-3 being forensically interviewed. Because a victim's testimony controls whether a certain video may be admissible under the evidentiary rules the Government cited, the motion for a pretrial ruling on admissibility (Doc. 76) is CARRIED TO TRIAL.

         The second motion pertained to four specific business records for which the Government sought the Court's preliminary determination that the records are authentic. For the purposes of showing the records are kept by the entities, the Government need not call a custodian to testify. The motion (Doc. 114) is GRANTED as explained on the record. However, this ruling does not address Defendants' other objections related to the Facebook records, such as the Bruton objection Defendants raised. The Government was instructed to select, identify, and file with the Court-on or before Monday, May 13-the specific Facebook records it intends to introduce to permit the Court to consider the other objections Defendants' counsel raised.

         Jaycee Doak's Third Motion In Limine

         Jaycee Doak's third motion in limine sought to preclude the Government “from introducing or making any reference to child pornography.” (Doc. 109). The Court noted that it will provide a limiting instruction (assuming Jaycee Doak's counsel requests one) to the jury that any and all references to child pornography should not be considered against Jaycee Doak. The motion in limine to prohibit all references to child pornography during trial (Doc. 109) is DENIED.

         Jaycee Doak's Fourth and Fifth Motions in Limine/Government's 404(b) and 404(b), 413, and 414 Notices

          Jaycee Doak's fourth motion in limine concerns the Government's 404(b) Notice. In the Notice, the Government announced its intent to introduce evidence of Jaycee and Mack Doak's prior physical abuse of the victims in an effort to explain the victims' delayed reporting. The evidence includes general maltreatment and testimony of the disparate treatment of the adopted and biological children. The Court held that the Government is prohibited from introducing evidence of Jaycee Doak's alleged physical abuse of the children until further consideration by the Court. However, the Government is permitted to introduce evidence of Mack ...


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