FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
PUERTO RICO [Hon. Gustavo A. Gelpí, Jr., U.S. District
Alejandra Bird López for appellant.
Francisco A. Besosa-Martínez, Assistant United States
Attorney, with whom Rosa Emilia
Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, and
Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States
Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, were on brief for
Howard, Chief Judge, Torruella and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.
KAYATTA, Circuit Judge.
Yoel Díaz-Rosado ("Díaz") was
convicted of carjacking under 18 U.S.C. § 2119. On
appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the evidence on the
issue of intent, the admission of an alleged confession, the
rejection of a proposed supplemental jury instruction, and
the admission of an in-court witness identification. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
we recite the facts relevant to Díaz's sufficiency
challenge in the light most favorable to the prosecution, we
"provide a more or less neutral summary" of the
facts relevant to Díaz's remaining claims, and
reserve further exposition of those facts for our analysis of
the claims themselves. See United States v.
Flores-Rivera, 787 F.3d 1, 9 (1st Cir. 2015).
March 8, 2013, Margarita Irizarry-Ramírez
("Irizarry") picked up her four-year-old
granddaughter from elementary school in Hato Rey, Puerto
Rico. As Irizarry attempted to buckle the child into a car
seat, she sensed the presence of somebody approaching from
behind. When she turned around, she found herself facing a
man standing approximately five feet, six inches tall, and
wearing a dark-colored baseball cap, sunglasses, and a
attempted to wrest Irizarry's car key from her. In the
ensuing struggle, which we describe in greater detail below,
the man seized the key to the car. As this altercation was
taking place, Ronald Vázquez-Rosado
("Vázquez")--a parent at the school --tried
to assist Irizarry by attempting to remove her granddaughter
from the car. Unable to do so, Vázquez urged Irizarry
to remove her granddaughter herself while he tried to
restrain the man, who had by that point entered the
driver's seat of the vehicle. Irizarry succeeded,
Vázquez got out of the car, and the man drove away.
a former undercover police officer for the Puerto Rico Police
Department ("P.R.P.D."), subsequently gave chase in
his own vehicle and called 911. While on the telephone with
the 911 operator and a police officer, Vázquez spotted
Irizarry's vehicle being driven by a man with short black
hair. Vázquez relayed this information to the operator
and the officer. Noticing that Irizarry's car had
suddenly stopped, and fearful that the man might try to
engage him, Vázquez drove off and returned to the
time later, P.R.P.D. Agent William
Méndez-Guzmán ("Agent Méndez")
and his patrol partner spotted the stolen vehicle. After a
brief chase by car and on foot, Agent Méndez
apprehended the driver of the car, whom he later identified
as Díaz. Though Irizarry had initially provided the
police with a description of the man who had taken her car,
she was unable to identify Díaz in a lineup conducted
several hours later. Vázquez was similarly unable to
identify Díaz in a photo array conducted a few days
Méndez testified that after arresting Díaz, he
read Díaz his Miranda rights and took him to the local
precinct. Agent Méndez further testified that once
they were at the police station, he again advised Díaz
of his Miranda rights--both verbally and in writing--and
after Díaz acknowledged by signature his receipt of a
written copy of those rights, Díaz told him that
"he wanted to testify something, to state
something." Agent Méndez testified that he
"told [Díaz] that if he had anything that he
wanted to say . . . he should write it out on the reverse
side of the [Miranda form], " and that Díaz
subsequently wrote and signed a statement that (the defendant
stipulated) translates to English as follows:
I, Luis Yoel Díaz Rosado, belatedly repent the acts I
committed against the lady and someone known to me who got
into a mess that he did not commit. Sorry.
Luis Yoel Díaz Rosado
I took the car keys from the lady under the influence of
substances, may God bless her. And I remember that the police
hit the siren.
Luis Yoel Díaz Rosado
that night, P.R.P.D. Agent Angel Fernández-Ortega
("Agent Fernández") presented the case to
Puerto Rico District Attorney Francelis Ortiz-Pagán
("D.A. Ortiz"). D.A. Ortiz declined to press
charges under the Commonwealth's carjacking statute, due
to concerns that Díaz's confession was not
"conscious and intelligent" under Pueblo v.
Millán Pacheco, 182 P.R. Dec. 595 (2011). Federal
prosecutors subsequently charged Díaz with one count
of carjacking under 18 U.S.C. § 2119, and a grand jury
returned an indictment on this charge on March 21, 2013.
to trial, Díaz filed a motion in limine to suppress
his written confession, arguing that the confession was
provided "under the effects of controlled
substances" and thus was not voluntary. In the ensuing
hearing, D.A. Ortiz testified that Agent Fernández had
informed her that Díaz had appeared to be under the
influence of drugs during the lineup, which, again, had taken
place several hours after Díaz's arrest. However,
Agent Fernández denied not only making this statement
but also having the impression that Díaz was on drugs.
Agent Méndez and another one of the arresting
officers--P.R.P.D. Agent Heriberto Soto-Cruz ("Agent
Soto")--similarly testified that Díaz did not
appear to be under the influence of controlled substances,
and Irizarry testified that she did not notice any of the
lineup participants "acting in a weird way physically in
any way." Though the court "f[ou]nd [D.A. Ortiz]
credible, " it also determined that "the witnesses
are pretty consistent in that this gentleman was not behaving
strangely." The district court then denied
way through the subsequent trial, Díaz renewed his
motion to suppress his alleged confession on the basis of
videos filmed by his brother at the precinct house several
hours after Díaz had been brought there. In those
videos, an unidentified male voice can be heard saying that
"it looks like . . . when [Díaz] came in, he came
in too . . . way too you-know-what on drugs, " and
further, that "[Díaz] said . . . that he had
taken some pills." Díaz's brother testified
that that voice belonged to a police officer who was staffing
the precinct's reception desk. The brother also testified
that Díaz "had a psychiatric history" as
well as "drug problems, " and that when he saw
Díaz in the station, "[Díaz] was raising
his voice, he was babbling, and his hands were on the cell
bars and he had an erratic behavior." Nevertheless, the
district court denied Díaz's renewed motion to
suppress, on the ground that the videos failed to show that
Díaz was "actually being coerced."
trial, the government called Vázquez to testify. In
the course of cross-examination, Díaz's attorney
engaged in the following exchange with Vázquez:
Q: And the person was not in that photo; you were not able to
identify any person in that photo spread as the person whom
you had intervened with.
A: At that moment I was not convinced of the identification
of any person, but at this moment I am convinced of the
identification of the person.
Q: You are? Please tell me. Please tell me.
A: What do you want me to tell you?
Q: You said that you were now. Please ...