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U.S. v. COOPER

February 1, 2000

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
V.
CARL COOPER, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyce Hens Green, District Judge.

    MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The 48-count indictment charging defendant, Carl Cooper ("Cooper"), with various racketeering acts of robbery, murder, conspiracy and firearms offenses was filed on August 4, 1999, and a jury trial has been scheduled for April 10, 2000. Mr. Cooper is eligible to receive the death penalty for three of the charged offenses. The record reflects that the defense was to have presented its position on the death penalty to the Attorney General of the United States on January 24, 2000. The Attorney General has not made a decision as to whether the government will pursue that ultimate penalty.

Currently before the Court are Cooper's four motions to suppress statements, wire interceptions, physical evidence and photographic identification. On January 12, 13, 18 and 19, 2000, the Court heard testimony from four government witnesses and one witness called by the defense on the motion to suppress statements, and from one government witness on the motion to suppress photographic identification. As is his constitutional right, Cooper did not testify or provide an affidavit. In addition, the Court heard argument from counsel on all four motions. Based on the pleadings filed by the parties, the argument and testimony given in open Court, and all matters considered, for the reasons discussed below, each of the four motions is denied.

I. Motion to Suppress Statements

Mr. Cooper was arrested by FBI agents outside of his home in the District of Columbia on March 1, 1999 pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by Commissioner Gary F. Byrd of Prince George's County, Maryland ("PG County"). The arrest warrant was based on Cooper's alleged involvement in the 1996 shooting and robbery of PG County police officer Bruce Howard. Cooper made verbal statements to FBI agents while in their custody from the time of his arrest until his extradition hearing the following afternoon in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. After the extradition hearing, Cooper was transported to PG County where he gave several verbal statements, and seven written statements (plus a correction) to PG County police officers. He was then returned to the District of Columbia where he gave additional verbal statements to the FBI agents. He seeks to have all of his statements suppressed.

A. Background

Witnesses for the government included FBI Special Agent Bradley Garrett ("S/A Garrett" or "Garrett"), PG County Detective Richard Fulginiti ("Det. Fulginiti" or "Fulginiti"), PG County Sergeant Joseph McCann ("Sgt. McCann" or "McCann"), and PG County Detective Troy Harding ("Det. Harding" or "Harding"). The defendant called FBI Special Agent Stephanie Yanta ("S/A Yanta" or "Yanta"). The Court has observed the demeanor and heard the testimony of these witnesses, and finds each of the five to be highly credible and extremely persuasive.*fn1 The testimony of these officers was thoughtful, unhesitating, calm, and fully consistent with not only the officer's own individual prior memorializations, but also with each other's testimony.

1. Interview at the FBI Field Office

On March 1, 1999 at approximately 6:20 p.m., Cooper was in his automobile with his five-year old son in front of his house in Northeast Washington when Agent Garrett and FBI Special Agent Bob Oxley ("S/A Oxley" or "Oxley") pulled up next to Cooper and, after Cooper exited the vehicle, placed him under arrest.*fn2 According to Garrett, every effort was made not to handcuff Cooper in front of his son. There was no force used during the arrest, and Cooper did not resist in any fashion. In fact, Cooper later thanked Garrett for being "low-key" about the arrest. The media was present when Cooper was arrested, although it is not clear who contacted them.

Cooper was transported to the FBI Field Office in Northwest Washington by Garrett and Oxley, where he was questioned from approximately 8:20 p.m. until 3:24 a.m. Several individuals, including Detective James Trainum from the Metropolitan Police Department ("Det. Trainum" or "Trainum"), S/A Yanta, Sgt. McCann, Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein ("AUSA Wainstein"), and United States Attorney Wilma A. Lewis, observed all or a portion of the interview through a television monitor and speaker in a nearby room. With the exception of AUSA Wainstein, none of these individuals entered the interview room. Cooper could not see these individuals, nor was he advised they were there. It was S/A Yanta's responsibility to take notes of the entire interview. She wore a headphone and focused on what was occurring in the interview room. Her handwritten notes, as well as the FBI FD-302 investigative report she prepared, were admitted into evidence at the hearing on Cooper's motion to suppress statements.

S/A Garrett testified that Cooper's restraints were removed when he entered the room. As part of the booking process, Cooper was asked some preliminary information concerning his family and employment history and criminal background. He advised the agents he was concerned about the effect his arrest would have on his job. During this booking process, Cooper volunteered that he had conferred with a lawyer who advised him that all the evidence against him was circumstantial, and he stated he wanted to take a lie detector test.*fn3 Garrett was unclear whether Cooper was talking about the shooting of Officer Howard, the Starbucks murders, or some other aspect of the case.*fn4 S/A Garrett told Cooper they would talk about it after they finished the booking process.

At approximately 9:00 p.m., Garrett told Cooper he was being charged with the 1996 shooting and robbery of an off-duty police officer in PG County. After Cooper denied his involvement in that incident, Garrett told Cooper he wanted to talk about Starbucks. Cooper wanted to talk, and signed a written Miranda waiver, which Garrett had also read verbally to Cooper. Garrett testified that Cooper did not hesitate in any manner when he reviewed and signed the Miranda waiver, nor did he express any concern about what he was doing. Cooper denied involvement in the Starbucks case, claiming murder was "not his style." He said the victims at Starbucks could have been controlled by hitting them in the head or using pepper spray. Cooper admitted past involvement in robberies and narcotic sales, and when asked why his name kept coming up in connection with Starbucks, he claimed it was because of his reputation in the community as a robbery consultant. Cooper stated people are motivated to name him because of the reward being offered, and also because informants could make deals to help themselves.

Cooper acknowledged that he has in the past gone with his family into the Starbucks store where the murders occurred. He did not recall being in the store the weekend the murders happened and, when asked by Garrett why his fingerprints were found inside the store after the murders, he had no explanation.*fn5 Cooper said he went to the Starbucks about two weeks after the murders and put flowers on the memorial. He stopped going because too many people were accusing him of committing the murders and he did not want to be perceived as a criminal returning to the scene of the crime. Cooper stated that he never knew anybody who worked for Starbucks and that he would never commit a crime in Georgetown because of the large volume of people and police on the streets. Cooper stated that two individuals who were his close associates came to him for advice on robbing the Georgetown Starbucks. Cooper said he counseled these individuals against robbing that Starbucks. He thought they robbed a tire place in Maryland instead.*fn6 Cooper was concerned about being perceived as a snitch and possibly getting killed. S/A Garrett testified that up to this point in the interview, Cooper was "upbeat, positive, very verbal, you know, wanting to express, you know, his thoughts and ideas and beliefs very freely and voluntarily." Tr. (1/12/00) at 41:24-42:4.

At approximately 11:24 p.m., Cooper became emotional, cried, appeared "defeated," and said he wanted to go to PG County to "get this over with."*fn7 This "despondent phase," as S/A Garrett termed it, lasted no more than five minutes, and is "common in people who want to admit what they've done." Tr. (1/12/00) at 235:5-11. Garrett talked some more to Cooper and asked him if he still wanted to take a polygraph. Cooper responded "I just want to go back. I'm in it for life. I'm in dirt. Every time somethin' goes down, I'm in it. I'm destined to do dirt. I quit. I know what I've done. I'm constantly trying to defend myself, defend my name." Govt.Exh. 1 at 8. He then denied his involvement in both the shooting of Officer Howard and the Starbucks murders, claiming "talkin' to you [Garrett] isn't gonna help me out. I'm tired. I'm tired of the bullshit. I can't do right. I didn't do this shit, I didn't do the P.G. shit." Govt.Exh. 1 at 9. Garrett continued to talk to Cooper, asking him what it would take "for [Cooper] to tell us what you've done in the last six (6) years." Id. Cooper replied that he did not do the crimes he is being accused of, that he was careful to cover his tracks or avoid detection whenever he committed a crime, and, that everything he did, he did by himself. Cooper was asked if he still wanted to take a polygraph, and replied "no," that there was "no point."

Cooper and Garrett continued to converse about Cooper's participation in robberies in general, with Cooper stating that he did not see any reason to wear a mask, that he always stole cars for use during the robberies, and that he did not do robberies in D.C. because they were too close to home. Specifically, Cooper discussed a bank robbery he did not commit, but he helped to plan it and shared in the proceeds.*fn8 He also stated that his confederate, James,*fn9 shot the PG County police officer.

Cooper stated that while he initially agreed to take a polygraph test he did not want to take one at this point because he only had knowledge after the fact and it would be no help to the authorities. Cooper said "if I did it, I would say let's work out a deal. You've got me. I'm not gonna make a deal for something I didn't do." Govt.Exh. 1 at 12. Garrett asked him hypothetically what type of deal he would request and Cooper replied that he would "ask not to be put to death." Id. The subject of conspiracy and federal charges came up in the conversation and Garrett brought AUSA Wainstein into the interview room for a brief period of time, no longer than 22 minutes.*fn10 AUSA Wainstein spoke to Cooper in the presence of S/A Garrett. He answered Cooper's questions concerning conspiracy and explained the "laws of conspiracy" and "how conspiracy is defined in the federal system." Tr. (1/12/00) at 203:5-11.*fn11 AUSA Wainstein then left the room.

Garrett left the room shortly thereafter and Metropolitan Police Detective Tony Patterson came in to talk to Cooper about taking a lie detector test. Cooper stated he did not want to take the test because he was being "spiteful" and nobody wanted to listen when he was ready to talk. He said his life was over and he would get nothing out of taking a polygraph. The interview ended at 3:24 a.m. and Cooper was taken to the Central Cell Block.*fn12

Garrett testified he never raised his voice to Cooper except to emphasize a particular point he did not understand or that needed clarification. He stated Cooper was appropriate and polite with all the detectives except for the one time when he briefly became despondent. Cooper was on a first name basis with the detectives. He called S/A Garrett by his first name and S/A Oxley by his nickname "Ox." They called him "Carl." Cooper was in good physical condition, never complained about being in pain except a brief mention that his stomach was bothering him, and did not appear to be suffering from any mental or emotional problems. Garrett testified that Cooper seemed tired, or perhaps just worried, at the end of the interview, hanging his head and leaning over in the seat. No threats, promises, or suggestions on what to say were made to Cooper, no force was used and no officer ever displayed a weapon to Cooper. Cooper never expressed fear. Cooper never asked for a lawyer, and never requested to discontinue the interview. He was given bathroom breaks and food and drink. Garrett testified that Cooper was very articulate, had an excellent vocabulary, and was very responsive, focused and able to keep up with the conversation. Cooper has had some college education at a junior college in Montgomery County. Cooper did not ask for, and was not offered the opportunity to use the telephone or to speak with any family member during this time.

2. Extradition Hearing

On March 2, 1999 at 11:53 a.m., Cooper appeared before a Commissioner in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for an extradition hearing. Eduardo Juarez ("Juarez"), then a staff attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, was appointed to represent Cooper at the extradition hearing. At that brief hearing, Juarez advised the Court that Cooper waived extradition, and stated

I'd also for the record like to assert Mr. Cooper's rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, to have counsel present during questioning by the government on this or any other matter. In particular, my understanding is that Mr. Cooper has been interrogated by D.C. police officials as well as D.C. prosecutors with regard to some alleged crimes that happened in D.C. And I would assert Mr. Cooper's rights to have counsel present during questioning on that matter and he also wishes to assert his right to remain silent.

Defense Exhibit 2 at 2-3. While he did not testify at the suppression hearing, Juarez has submitted an affidavit stating that when he made the statement to the Commissioner, he was aware Cooper might be charged with the Starbucks murders.*fn13 He stated he spoke with Cooper and discussed with him his right to remain silent. He said Cooper's intention was to assert his "Fifth Amendment privilege as he did not desire to answer any questions posed to him by law enforcement about any criminal activity that may have occurred in any jurisdiction." Id. The affidavit states that Juarez intended the privilege to apply to all jurisdictions that might question Cooper about any matter. Juarez lastly noted he was not contacted by any law enforcement official with respect to any statements Cooper was offering, and had he been so contacted he would have advised Cooper not to make any statements without the presence of counsel. There is no indication that Juarez had any contact whatsoever with Cooper or anyone on Cooper's behalf after the extradition hearing terminated.

3. Travel to Maryland

After the extradition hearing, Cooper was transported, without the presence of counsel, to Maryland by PG County Detective John Piazza ("Det. Piazza" or "Piazza") and Det. Fulginiti. Both Piazza and Fulginiti, who were instructed only to pick up Cooper and bring him to PG County, were present in the courtroom at Cooper's extradition hearing. Neither Fulginiti nor Piazza were involved in the investigation of the Officer Howard matter or the Starbucks murders. Cooper was in handcuffs and leg cuffs when he was placed in the car. Piazza drove the vehicle, with Cooper sitting in the front seat next to him, and Fulginiti sitting in the back directly behind Cooper. Fulginiti testified that Cooper appeared to be physically fine and did not complain of any pain or sickness. Without any prodding by the officers, Cooper started talking almost immediately after he got in the car. Piazza commented to Fulginiti that he was going to take New York Avenue back to Maryland and Cooper suggested an alternate route, which they took. Cooper told the officers that S/A Garrett and Det. Trainum were trying to get him to admit he was involved in Starbucks and that he was initially going to take a polygraph and changed his mind. He then asked if there was any way PG County could give him a polygraph test. Fulginiti advised Cooper that neither he nor Piazza were involved in the case.*fn14 Fulginiti inquired if Cooper was hungry — it was just after noon — and Cooper replied that he had been offered food but didn't eat it and he was now hungry. Cooper then continued to talk about being wrongfully a suspect in the Starbucks case. The officers did not question him. At no time did Cooper state he wanted a lawyer or that he did not want to talk. Fulginiti testified that Cooper was very talkative and had a lot of "nervous energy."

4. Questioning in P.G. County on March 2, 1999

When they arrived at the PG County Criminal Investigations Division ("PGCID"), at approximately 12:47 p.m. on March 2, 1999, Cooper was taken through the back door because of the media attention in the front of the building. He was placed in an interview room with carpeted floor and walls and cushioned chairs. Fulginiti then left the room and went to a meeting. Sgt. McCann came into the room at approximately 1:10 p.m., introduced himself to Cooper, removed Cooper's handcuffs, and shook his hand. As McCann was asking Cooper for biographical information, Cooper "came across somewhat eager wanting to talk about Starbucks. He kept bringing it up." Tr. (1/13/00) at 85:24-86:1. McCann tried to continue asking Cooper biographical questions, but Cooper was "visibly upset" and wanted to talk about how Det. Trainum was accusing him of committing the Starbucks murders. At that point, McCann read Cooper his Miranda rights, and Cooper stated he understood those rights. McCann asked Cooper if he wished to talk without a lawyer present and Cooper responded "yes." He asked Cooper if he had been forced to talk or threatened in any manner and Cooper replied "no." Cooper also advised that he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and had attended six to eight months at Montgomery County Junior College.

McCann told Cooper that he wanted to talk about the shooting of Officer Howard. He advised Cooper they had witnesses and weapon ballistics tests that implicated him. Cooper replied, without elaboration, that it was not his gun used in the shooting, that the D.C. police switched gun barrels and were trying to frame him. McCann advised Cooper the gun was identified by the firing pin, not the gun barrel. Cooper did not respond directly, instead stating he wanted to prove he wasn't involved in Starbucks and would talk about Officer Howard later. McCann advised Cooper that PG County had a computerized voice stress analysis test ("CVSA") which was similar to a polygraph.*fn15 Although both McCann and Fulginiti were authorized and trained to give the CVSA test, McCann thought it would be better at that point to have Fulginiti give Cooper the test. McCann called Fulginiti from his meeting, briefed him for approximately fifteen minutes on the Starbucks case, and left him with Cooper. As Fulginiti was attempting to explain the test procedure, Cooper asked numerous questions about what would happen if he passed the test, and whether the charges would be dropped. Fulginiti gave Cooper verbal Miranda warnings, which Cooper stated he understood and waived. Fulginiti felt that Cooper was not ready to take the test because he had so many questions, so Fulginiti advised Cooper he could not run the test right then, but they could talk. Cooper wanted assurance that if he cooperated the information he gave would be relayed to the United States Attorney and the Maryland authorities. Fulginiti assured him he would relay all the information. Fulginiti then explained to Cooper that Cooper was in Maryland because he was being charged with the robbery and shooting of Officer Howard. Fulginiti elaborated that Officer Howard, who was off-duty, and a woman were "embracing" in a parked car in the woods when someone attempted to rob them. Officer Howard was shot in the process. Cooper said PG County "already had the gun" and proceeded to give Fulginiti his version of what happened. Cooper agreed to provide a written statement and Fulginiti produced a written Miranda waiver, which Cooper read and executed.*fn16 Cooper was then left alone to write the first of what would ultimately be seven written statements.

Written Statement Regarding the Shooting of Officer Howard

On March 2, 1999, commencing at approximately 4:40 p.m., Cooper wrote a statement detailing the following account. On a date he does not remember, between midnight and 4:00 a.m., he was walking home after being dropped off by a person he refused to name.*fn17 As he was walking through the woods, he noticed a parked car containing a man and woman having sexual relations. He walked up to the car to be "nosey" and noticed a wallet in the back pocket of the man who was laying on the front seat with his pants down. As Cooper approached the vehicle, the woman in the car saw him and screamed. The man rolled off the woman and yelled at Cooper to take the money but not to hurt them. Cooper pulled out his gun, a 9 millimeter his wife purchased for him. The man "started going crazy" and Cooper responded that he wasn't going to hurt anybody and he just wanted the money. The man was "sooooo panicky" (emphasis in original) that Cooper started getting nervous and almost left the scene. The man finally agreed to give Cooper the money and reached down into his pants (which were still around his ankles). As Cooper leaned into the car, the man punched him in the face. The man was able to "turn the gun around" and took a shot at Cooper while the gun was still in Cooper's hand. The bullet missed Cooper but shot a hole through the car window. Cooper regained control of the gun and let the woman out of the car. When the woman got out of the car, the man "jumped across the seat" and started "beating the shit out of me [Cooper] and trys [sic] to take the gun." There was some wrestling and the gun went off and the man fell to the ground yelling that he had been shot. Cooper was afraid but knew the guy was all right because he was able to talk and evaluate his situation. Cooper had another gun, a .32 caliber pistol that he purchased on the street for $30 approximately five months earlier. This gun fell out of his pocket when he was wrestling with the man in the car. Cooper ran home after the man was shot. He did not call 911 because there were police cars swarming all around. He did not learn until the next day the man in the car was a police officer who had called for back up assistance.

5. Continued Questioning in PG County on March 2, 1999

After Cooper finished the written statement regarding Officer Howard, Fulginiti told Cooper it would be a good time for Cooper to provide any information on other criminal activity in PG County. In response, Cooper gave statements concerning the robberies of a pizza shop, a bank, and a massage parlor. Fulginiti had no familiarity with any of these robberies. Rather than writing the account himself, Cooper told Fulginiti to ask him specific questions. Fulginiti would ask the question, write it down on paper and show it Cooper. Cooper would then answer the question, and Fulginiti would write down Cooper's answer. Cooper then read each answer, initialed it, and signed the completed statement. This was the only statement Cooper did not write himself (excluding the question and answer portions of the written statements).

Written Statement Concerning Robberies of Pizza Shop, Massage Parlor and Bank

The next incident Cooper discussed was a bank robbery in Maryland. James and Haley were at Cooper's house and advised they were going out. They did not say where they were going. Later on, James told Cooper he had dressed up like a woman and he and Haley robbed a bank in Maryland with the assistance of James' "play sister" Nicki, who was a teller at the bank. James gave Cooper $1,000 from the proceeds of the bank robbery as a thank you for letting James and Haley stay at his house. When Cooper heard about the bank robbery he evicted James and Haley from his house and they never came back. Cooper did not see a gun and did not know where James got female clothing. James advised Cooper he dumped the clothing in the trash before he got on the Metro. Cooper claims James got the idea to dress up like a woman from a movie involving four female bank robbers.

Cooper next discussed the robbery of a massage parlor in Pennsylvania. Cooper, James, Haley, Earnest and two others were in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and neighboring areas visiting strip clubs and drinking free beer. They were driving in two cars, one stolen and one owned by Earnest. The group ended up at a massage parlor some time after dark. Cooper does not remember what time of year it was, but remembers it was not cold outside. They knocked on the back door of the massage parlor and when the manager answered, James pulled out his "long handgun that said 8 millimeter on the side" and proceeded to rob the place. Nobody else in the group had a gun. Cooper was the lookout and declined James' request for him to frisk everyone. James frisked the owner and "freaked out" when he found a gun, accusing the owner of planning to shoot him. A female employee at the massage parlor accused James of biting her breast and this caused some friction between James and Haley. James kept the owner's gun and money, and stole a pair of tennis shoes. Cooper said he gave these statements because he wanted to "come clean" and "show cooperation."*fn18

6. Questioning in P.G. County Evening of March 2 into Early Morning March 3, 1999

After discussing the robberies, Cooper initiated a conversation about Starbucks and talked about taking the CVSA test. Fulginiti called in Sgt. McCann to talk to Cooper. Fulginiti testified that during the time he was with Cooper, he never raised his voice or threatened Cooper, never used any force or exhibited his weapon (which he did not bring into the interview room), and never made any promises other than in response to Cooper's inquiry, that he would advise the District of Columbia and Maryland authorities about Cooper's cooperation. Fulginiti testified that Cooper seemed calm and relaxed, and never complained of being sick or in pain, except one incident where he said he had a headache and Fulginiti gave him some aspirin. Cooper was given bathroom breaks, food and drink. Cooper never asked for a lawyer, and never indicated he did not understand his rights, or that he wanted to stop talking. Fulginiti testified that Cooper is intelligent and articulate, and his answers were responsive and thoughtful.

At approximately midnight, McCann read Cooper his rights and Cooper executed a written Miranda waiver.*fn19 McCann gave Cooper the CVSA test. The results were interpreted by both McCann and Fulginiti, who independently of the other concluded that Cooper showed signs of deception in his answers to the following questions: "Did you shoot the people at Starbucks?" and "Do you know who shot the people at Starbucks?" McCann testified that Cooper, when advised of the test results, started to breathe heavily and began to sweat.*fn20 Cooper sat on the floor, and put his hands over his face. McCann told Cooper he thought it was interesting that Cooper and one of the victims at Starbucks both knew a man named Keith Covington. Cooper thought for a moment, composed himself, and put the blame on Covington, stating that it was an inside job and he, Cooper, was only the driver. Cooper gave a verbal statement concerning Starbucks to Det. Harding, and agreed to write his version of the events, which would become the first of three written statements concerning the Starbucks murders.

First Statement Concerning the Starbucks Murders

On March 3, 1999 at 1:12 a.m., Cooper gave a written statement concerning his involvement in the Starbucks murders. He claimed that Keith Covington ("Covington"), approached him a month before the murders with the idea of robbing the Starbucks in Georgetown. Covington had a friend who worked there and would assist from the inside. Covington approached Cooper because Cooper "knew about robberies, [] was excellent behind the wheel of a car, and [] could keep [his] mouth closed." Cooper became interested when he learned it would be an inside job performed on the weekend when there was a lot of money in the store. Cooper agreed that he would drive the getaway car and sit in the car while Covington committed the robbery. The plan was that Covington's friend would let Covington in the store, play the victim, and then get the other employees to cooperate. Covington would then escape with the money and the friend would get his share later on. Cooper contacted Earnest and told him the plan, but then quickly regretted it because Covington and Earnest did not know each other. Cooper then told Earnest that it was a stupid idea and never brought it up again. Cooper went to the Starbucks on a Sunday morning to "check it out not knowing that the robbery would go down that night." At around seven or eight that Sunday evening Covington knocked on Cooper's door and told him it was time to commit the robbery at Starbucks. Cooper was already dressed in black and Covington was wearing "dark blue knit sweat pants, boots, and a plaid shirt/jacket." Cooper did not bring a gun because it was an inside job and he didn't think he would need it. Cooper drove his mother's car to the location and parked it up the street. The original plan was to steal a car, but as they rode around looking for one "Covington was nervous and anxious," so he agreed to use his mother's car as long as it was parked up the street from the Starbucks. He and Covington talked for awhile about being in prison and about how much money they were going to get from the robbery. At no time did Cooper see a mask or a gun on Covington. Cooper stayed behind in the car while Covington went into the Starbucks. After approximately five minutes to a half hour of being inside the Starbucks, Covington ran down the street, jumped into the car and told Cooper to pull away. Cooper did not hear any shots or see anything. Cooper sped away and asked Covington what happened and where the money was. Covington looked at Cooper "with a frowned up face and said he couldn't get it." Cooper then dropped Covington off and never spoke about the incident again. He learned about the murders on the news the next day. He claims he was afraid to say anything because Covington knows where he and his family lives, and Covington and his friends are known for violence and drug dealing.

7. Interview at PG County on March 3, 1999

After Cooper gave the first Starbucks statement, he went to sleep at approximately 3:30 a.m. Cooper slept until approximately 2:20 p.m., when McCann and Harding resumed the interview. Cooper was asked if he was hungry, but he responded that he was too upset to eat because he knew he was in a lot of trouble.*fn21 Cooper was shown a photograph of an individual whom he identified as Covington. McCann and Harding advised Cooper that they believed Cooper was inside the Starbucks, and that they would be looking for Covington and needed to know the truth. They also mentioned that they thought Cooper's fingerprints had been found inside the Starbucks.*fn22 Cooper admitted he was inside the Starbucks but claimed he did not shoot anybody. Cooper was again given Miranda warnings, and he signed a written waiver. He then wrote the second statement concerning the Starbucks incident.

Second Statement Regarding the Starbucks Murders

On March 3, 1999, commencing at 3:29 p.m., Cooper wrote the following statement. Cooper said he "stole" his wife's gun, a 9 mm handgun currently in police custody, and had it in his possession at the time. Covington had two guns in his possession. He said he and Covington walked in the front door at the Starbucks, and Covington put a gun to his friend's head, told him it was a robbery, and the friend let them into the store. The friend told the other "two white employees" to cooperate. While Covington kept an eye on the employees downstairs, Cooper went upstairs to make sure nobody else was in the store. When he returned, he found Covington and the female employee arguing while Covington's friend was in the back with the other employee. The female employee did not want to give Covington the keys to the safe. While they were shouting at each other, Cooper kept an eye on the door. While he was looking out the door onto the street, he heard two shots. He turned around and no longer saw the female employee. Covington's friend then came running into the room. Covington took him to the back room and disappeared from Cooper's sight. Cooper then heard four more shots. Cooper never fired his gun in the store. Covington then ran into the room and he and Cooper ran out the door and into the car. Cooper was afraid the entire time because he thought Covington might shoot him. Nothing was said in the car. Covington had some blood on him and Cooper was concerned that it would stain his mother's car. After he dropped off Covington, Cooper went to a car wash and vacuumed and cleaned the car. He went home and took a shower and did not discuss the incident with Covington or anybody else. He claimed violence was not his style, there was nothing he could do for the people in the Starbucks, and he was sorry for their deaths.

8. Continued Questioning in PG County on March 3, 1999.

Det. Harding then advised Cooper that Earnest had told police that Cooper was involved in a 1993 murder of a security guard, Sandy Griffin, in the District of Columbia. Cooper dipped his head a little, and agreed to talk about that. Harding read Cooper his Miranda rights and Cooper executed a written Miranda waiver. Cooper gave a verbal accounting of the Sandy Griffin murder, and then prepared a written statement.

Statement Concerning the Murder of Sandy Griffin

On March 3, 1999 at 9:10 p.m., Cooper commenced a written statement concerning the murder of Sandy Griffin. He stated that about five or six years ago, before he was married, he and Earnest planned to rob a security guard of his gun. The security guard was stationed in an apartment building located near 11th Street N.W. in the District of Columbia.*fn23 Cooper waited until the guard was distracted by the telephone. He went inside the lobby and approached the guard stating "nigga don't move, all I want is the gun." The security guard had the phone in his left hand and he placed his right hand on the revolver and cocked it while it was still in the holster. Cooper was scared and told the guard not to move. The guard removed the gun from his holster and Cooper, fearing for his life, fired his own gun and shot the security guard in the head. The security guard fell to the floor, dropping the phone and the gun. Cooper picked up the guard's gun, a .38 revolver, and ran out with Earnest in tow. The two men ran to the car and Cooper advised Earnest that the guard tried to kill him. Cooper said he sold the guard's gun within the week for $300 to some guys on the street (he later recanted this fact in the statement concerning Monte Goodman's murder). The gun Cooper used to shoot the guard, a .32 revolver with tape on it, was later "dropped by me [Cooper] in a PG shooting case." Cooper stated it was Earnest's idea to get the gun and Cooper picked the victim.

9. Continued Questioning in PG County on March 3, 1999

After Cooper gave the statement concerning the murder of Sandy Griffin, McCann came into the interview room and asked Cooper if he could shed some light on a murder Cooper's friend James committed. Cooper then gave a verbal statement concerning the murder of Montee Goodman. McCann read Cooper his Miranda rights, and Cooper issued a written waiver. Cooper then wrote a written statement concerning the Montee Goodman murder.

Statement Concerning the Murder of Montee Goodman

On March 3, 1990 at 11:03 p.m. Cooper commenced the following account concerning the murder of Montee Goodman.*fn24 Cooper had robbed a drug dealer and was trying to sell the stolen cocaine. Later on, when Cooper was riding around and drinking beer with James, Mark and Montee Goodman, Cooper received a page on his beeper from a man named Boones or Bones ("Bones") who was interested in purchasing the cocaine for an amount less than $1,000.00. Mark and Montee overheard Cooper's conversation concerning the specifics of the sale. Cooper dropped Mark and Montee off at their homes and went to his own home to wait for Bones. When Bones arrived, he told Cooper that a few moments earlier he was robbed by two men claiming to be Cooper's representatives. Cooper reimbursed Bones the stolen money, gave him the cocaine, and never dealt with him again. Cooper later established that the two individuals who robbed Bones were Mark and Montee. Cooper demanded the money back, and asked James to "whip their butts for me." Cooper was later advised that Monte had been murdered. Cooper suspected James and asked James why he did it. James advised he and Montee had been fighting and things got out of hand. Cooper instructed James to bury ...


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