United States v. Hidalgo

Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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District Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder

A shotgun shell and spent .22-caliber casings were recovered from the scene of Morrow's murder on Aug. 11, 2009. On the 17th police recovered a shotgun from premises in which defendants Hidalgo and Ramos-Cruz were present. Drug paraphernalia bearing heroin residue; .22, .32, and .357-caliber ammunition; .22-caliber and .30-caliber rifles; and documents naming Hidalgo were recovered from a second address during a search warrant's Jan. 25, 2011, execution. The shotgun shell recovered Aug. 11, 2009, was connected to the shotgun recovered Aug. 17. DNA evidence therefrom was a mixture from three unknown individuals. DNA recovered from the rifles retrieved on Jan. 25, 2011, was a mixture from four individuals. The court authorized the government's taking of buccal DNA samples from Ramos-Cruz, Hidalgo and codefendants Medina and Ortiz for comparison against samples obtained from evidence left at homicides and attempted murders for which they were indicted. Despite deeming the taking of buccal DNA samples as implicating defendants' dignity interests for Fourth Amendment purposes, the court found that the grand jury's findings warranted a finding that probable cause existed for ordering the buccal DNA samples.

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