Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

USA v. Garcia-Zarate

United States District Court, N.D. California

January 7, 2020

USA, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSE INEZ GARCIA-ZARATE, Defendant.

          ORDER RE MOTIONS IN LIMINE RE: DKT. NOS. 58, 60, 61

          VINCE CHHABRIA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This order is intended to give the parties guidance for tomorrow's pretrial conference. If a ruling is described as “tentative, ” this means the Court wishes to hear argument. If the ruling is not described as tentative, it means the ruling is final and the Court will not hear argument. The Court will issue a separate order following the pretrial conference that summarizes all final rulings on the motions in limine.

         A. Defendant's Motions in Limine

         1. This ruling is tentative. The motion to exclude prior convictions and bad acts is granted in part and denied in part. It is granted as to the use of prior felony convictions to impeach Garcia-Zarate. It is denied as to evidence that Steinle was shot and killed, as the shooting is inextricably intertwined with the possession charge. However, as discussed below, evidence and argument regarding Steinle's death will be sharply limited. Furthermore, the Court will consider giving the jury a limiting instruction regarding the relevance of her death if the defense requests one. The defense's related request to introduce evidence that Garcia-Zarate was acquitted in state court is denied; the parties must refrain from specific references to the state court trial, instead referring generically to “prior proceedings” or “prior testimony under oath.”

         2. The motion to exclude the testimony of James Steinle is granted, because the details regarding Kate Steinle's death are barely relevant to the possession charges, particularly since the government does not contend that Garcia-Zarate intended to shoot her. Further, it would be unfairly prejudicial to Garcia-Zarate for the trial to include anything (much less the testimony of her father) beyond the fact of her death. To ensure that undue time is not spent on details regarding Steinle's death, the government must provide a detailed offer of proof as to each witness's testimony and its probative value.

         3. The motion to exclude references to DNA testing of the firearm is denied. The government does not seek - and would not be permitted absent agreement by the defense - to introduce portions of the interrogation in which the topic of DNA evidence is discussed.

         4. This ruling is tentative. The motion to exclude evidence of gunshot residue is denied, provided, of course, that the witness responsible for the report is subject to cross-examination.

         5. The motion to exclude medical examiner photographs is granted, assuming the defense stipulates that the bullet that struck Steinle came from the gun found in the bay.

         6. The motion to exclude coroner testimony is granted, subject to the same assumption.

         7. This ruling is tentative. The motion regarding video footage is granted in part and denied in part. Edits or manipulations to the video must be disclosed, and they are subject to further objection. Portions of the video that say “Homicide Investigation” are inadmissible. Witnesses may narrate and describe events in a video based on their perceptions. They may not speculate as to the intention of other actors captured in the video, nor may they describe the shooting as a murder.

         8. This ruling is tentative. The motion to exclude the video showing the shooting is denied. The video was taken from afar: it captures people as shadowy, indistinct figures and lacks the kind of detail that might shock a viewer. The video's probative value is therefore not outweighed by the risk of unfair prejudice it may create. The Court will entertain any further objections the defense has to edits to or manipulation of the video.

         9. The unopposed motion to require that files be generically named is granted.

         10. If the government does not call a witness on its list and the defense wishes to call that witness, it may do so.

         11. The motion to exclude witnesses from the courtroom is granted, except as ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.