United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER SUSTAINING IN PART AND OVERRULING IN PART
DEFENDANT'S RULE 404(B) OBJECTIONS
William J. Martinez, United States District Judge.
April 25, 2017, the Government filed its notice of the
potential Rule 404(b) evidence it plans to use against
Defendant Vincent Scott Mathews (“Mathews”). (ECF
No. 83.) Currently before the Court is Mathews's
Objection to Admission of the Government's Proffered Rule
404(b) Evidence. (ECF No. 94.) For the reasons explained
below, Mathews's objections are sustained in part and
overruled in part.
to Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b)(1), the admission of
evidence of a crime or “bad act” to prove a
person's character “in order to show that on a
particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the
character” is precluded from the jury's purview.
Such evidence may be admissible for other purposes, however,
“such as proving motive, opportunity, intent,
preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake,
or lack of accident.” Fed.R.Evid. 404(b)(2). Even so,
“[t]he court may exclude relevant evidence if its
probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of .
. . unfair prejudice.” Fed.R.Evid. 403.
all of this, the Tenth Circuit has stated the Rule 404(b)
analysis in terms of a four-part inquiry:
Four general requirements emanating from Rule 404(b) and
other relevancy rules must be met before evidence of prior
acts will be admissible: (1) the evidence must be offered for
a proper purpose under Rule 404(b); (2) the evidence must be
relevant; (3) the trial court must make a Rule 403
determination that the probative value of the similar acts
evidence is not substantially outweighed by its potential for
unfair prejudice; and (4) under Rule 105, the trial court
must, upon request, instruct the jury that the evidence of
similar acts is to be considered only for the proper purpose
for which it was admitted.
United States v. Joe, 8 F.3d 1488, 1495 (10th Cir.
August 24, 2011, two African-American males disguised with
face paint robbed a Denver jewelry store at gunpoint. (ECF
No. 83 at 4; see also ECF No. 94 ¶ 1.) Eight
days later, Mathews and his wife were stopped for speeding in
Utah, and the police discovered a stolen pistol in the car
along with jewelry traced to the August 24 robbery. (ECF No.
83 at 4.) The following year, Mathews was convicted in
Colorado state court of possessing stolen property worth more
than $20, 000. (Id. at 3-4.) He was released to a
halfway house “in early 2015.” (Id. at
13, 2015, two African-American males with bandannas covering
their faces robbed a Denver pawn shop at gunpoint.
(Id. at 2.) Federal agents began investigating this
robbery, which they considered related to allegedly similar
robberies committed in 2012, 2013, 2014, and earlier in 2015.
progressed from the halfway house to home detention in
September 2015. (Id. at 4.) At that time, Mathews
was not required to wear a GPS ankle monitor.
October 4, 2015, two African-American males and one
African-American female wearing ski masks robbed an
Edgewater, Colorado, pawnshop at gunpoint. Two days later,
Mathews received a GPS ankle monitor-but not because he had
become a suspect in the pawn shop robberies. Rather, he had
become a suspect in a May 2015 drive-by shooting, thus
prompting his parole officer to impose a GPS condition.
(Id. at 4.) No charges have ever been filed against
Mathews regarding that drive-by shooting. (Id.)
Mathews did become a suspect in the pawn shop robberies not
long after, apparently some time between October and December
2015. (See id. at 2- 3.) Federal agents had
identified pieces of jewelry at other pawnshops confirmed to
have been stolen in the July and October 2015 robberies,
located the individuals who re-pawned those items, and
learned from them that “[Mathews], along with others,
had provided the jewelry to these individuals so that it
could be pawned on his behalf.” (Id. at 3.)
December 1, 2015, two African-American males wearing masks
and hats robbed a Denver pawnshop at gunpoint. (Id.)
On March 23, 2016, three African-American males wearing masks
and hooded sweatshirts robbed an Aurora, Colorado, pawnshop
at gunpoint. (Id.)
this time, the investigating agents learned that Mathews had
been on GPS monitoring since the previous October. They
checked his historical GPS data and discovered that Mathews
“arrived and left the scene of the December  and
March  robberies at the same time as the robbers were
seen to arrive and depart on the security cameras.”
(Id. at 4.) “They also found that [Mathews]
was in the ...