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Haney v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

July 23, 2015


Argued December 2, 2014

Appeals from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CF3-5789-08). (Hon. Ronna Lee Beck, Trial Judge).

Mikel-Meredith Weidman, Public Defender Service, with whom James Klein and Samia Fam, Public Defender Service, were on the brief, for appellant.

John Cummings, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney at the time the brief was filed, and Elizabeth Trosman, John P. Mannarino, Jennifer Kerkhoff, Jason Park, and William B. Wiegand, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for appellee.

Before GLICKMAN and BLACKBURNE-RIGSBY, Associate Judges, and REID, Senior Judge.


Reid, Senior Judge :

While this court's consideration of appellant Travis Haney's direct appeal was pending,[1] he filed a motion in the trial court claiming ineffective assistance of counsel, under D.C. Code § 23-110 (2012 Repl.), in part because his trial counsel failed to file a motion to suppress the videotaped statement he made to a police detective. Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court found that Mr. Haney's trial counsel's performance was constitutionally deficient because he did not " appreciate that there was a basis for suppressing a portion of [Mr. Haney's] statement." [2] Nevertheless, the court concluded that there was no reasonable probability that the outcome of Mr. Haney's trial would have been different had his trial counsel filed the motion to suppress.[3]

Page 609

Mr. Haney raises several arguments about the trial court's disposition of his D.C. Code § 23-110 motion. We consider only one of his arguments -- the trial court incorrectly concluded that there is no reasonable probability that the outcome of his trial would have been different if his counsel had filed the motion to suppress. For the following reasons, we reverse the trial court's judgment, and we remand this case for a new trial.[4]


The government charged Mr. Haney with several criminal offenses relating to the shooting of Phyllis Walters in the Southwest quadrant of the District of Columbia; Ms. Walters was shot nine times on March 10, 2008. Haney I, supra, 41 A.3d at 1229. On March 12, 2008, Metropolitan Police Department Detective Stanley Greene interrogated Mr. Haney about the shooting; the interrogation was videotaped. Detective Greene informed Mr. Haney that he had been " locked up for assault with intent to kill." After Mr. Haney answered certain booking questions, Detective Greene announced that he had to read Mr. Haney his rights. Mr. Haney inquired, " I don't need no lawyer or nothing?" Detective Greene replied, " It's up to you." Mr. Haney read the front of the rights card himself, including the sentence stating, " If you want to answer questions now without a lawyer present you will still have the right to stop answering at any time." Before Mr. Haney proceeded to the questions on the back side of the rights card, Detective Greene explained, " So, . . . any time if you answered yes to all the questions, and we get to a point where you don't want to answer a question, you can go, man I don't want to talk about that." Mr. Haney responded, " Yes" to all of the questions and Detective Greene began the interrogation.

Mr. Haney acknowledged that he knew Ms. Walters and described her as " like a godmother." While he was helping his mother move from one house to another, his mother informed him that Ms. Walters had been shot. Mr. Haney repeatedly told Detective Greene that he had nothing to do with Ms. Walters's shooting, even when Detective Greene told him that he received a report (not from Ms. Walters) that Mr. Haney shot Ms. Walters. After Detective Greene stated that before Mr. Haney " put the mask on, people saw you," Mr. Haney asserted, " Nah, don't say before you put the mask on. Before whoever shot the girl put the mask on." The interrogation continued along these lines, with Detective Greene making certain accusations against Mr. Haney, including those concerning an incident during which Mr. Haney allegedly confronted and pulled a gun on another woman, and an allegation that Mr. Haney allegedly possessed a .22 gun. In response, Mr. Haney insisted, often with profanity, that he had nothing to do with the shooting of Ms. Walters.

After about one and one half hours of interrogation, Mr. Haney indicated that he did not want to answer any more questions, but Detective Greene continued the interrogation. Subsequently, Mr. Haney made statements that were introduced at his trial. Detective Greene broached the question of whether Mr. Haney knew how much ...

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