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State of Idaho v. Matthew Lee Hurst

May 18, 2011

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MATTHEW LEE HURST, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Timothy Hansen, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lansing, Judge

2011 Opinion No. 29

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

Orders denying motion to suppress evidence, relinquishing jurisdiction, and denying motion for reduction of sentence, affirmed.

Matthew Lee Hurst appeals from his conviction and sentence for lewd conduct with a minor under sixteen, Idaho Code § 18-1508. He asserts that the district court erred by denying his motion to suppress evidence, by relinquishing jurisdiction, and by denying his motion for further reduction of his sentence. We affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

After Hurst's stepdaughter reported that Hurst had sexually molested her, an Ada County Sheriff's detective went to Hurst's place of work to talk to him. The ensuing three and one-half- minute conversation between the two was audio recorded. The detective told Hurst that there was a situation regarding his stepdaughter, invited Hurst to come to the sheriff's office for an interview, and offered him a ride. Hurst hesitated and sought to inquire about the substance of the "situation." The detective declined to provide detail and ultimately asked Hurst: "Are you willing to come down with me and talk or not?" Hurst replied: "Not without my lawyer." The detective then handcuffed and arrested Hurst and transported him the sheriff's office. Hurst was placed in an interview room, where his conversation with the detective was again recorded, this time on video. The detective read Hurst his Miranda*fn1 rights, and Hurst waived his right to remain silent and his right to counsel. During the interrogation that followed, Hurst confessed. After formal charges were filed, Hurst moved to suppress his statements to the detective. He contended that while talking to the detective at Hurst's place of employment, he had effectively invoked his Fifth Amendment right to an attorney, and therefore the detective was prohibited from later interrogating him at the sheriff's office without the presence of Hurst's attorney. At a hearing on the suppression motion, the recorded conversations were entered into evidence and the detective testified. The district court denied the motion, holding that in order to preclude interrogation, an invocation of the right to counsel must be made during custodial interrogation and that Hurst's invocation of counsel was ineffective because it was made before he was placed in custody.

Pursuant to a plea bargain, Hurst entered a conditional plea of guilty to one count of lewd conduct, reserving the right to appeal from the denial of his suppression motion, and two additional lewd conduct charges were dismissed. The district court imposed a thirty-year sentence, with five years fixed, but retained jurisdiction. At the subsequent rider review hearing the district court relinquished jurisdiction but, at Hurst's request, reduced the fixed portion of the sentence to four years. Hurst subsequently filed a written motion for further reduction of the sentence. The district court denied the motion, holding that Idaho Criminal Rule 35 allowed only one request for a reduction of sentence.

Hurst appeals. He asserts that his invocation of his Fifth Amendment right to an attorney at his place of work precluded the detective from later interrogating him, regardless of whether he was in custody at the time of invocation. In the alternative, Hurst asserts that if custody is required for a valid invocation of the Fifth Amendment right to counsel, he was effectively in custody at the time even though he was not under formal arrest. Hurst also asserts that in light of his positive performance during retained jurisdiction the district court erred by relinquishing jurisdiction and that the court erred by denying Hurst's written motion for further reduction of his sentence.

II. ANALYSIS

In Maryland v. Shatzer, ___ U.S. ___, 130 S. Ct. 1213, 1219-20 (2010), the United States Supreme Court explained the origins and the parameters of the "Fifth Amendment right to counsel"*fn2 as follows:

The Fifth Amendment, which applies to the States by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment, Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 6, 84 S. Ct. 1489, 12 L. Ed. 2d 653 (1964), provides that "[n]o person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." U.S. Const., Amdt. 5. In Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966), the Court adopted a set of prophylactic measures to protect a suspect's Fifth Amendment right from the "inherently compelling pressures" of custodial interrogation. Id., at 467, 86 S. Ct. 1602. The Court observed that "incommunicado interrogation" in an "unfamiliar," "police-dominated atmosphere," id., at 456-457, 86 S. Ct. 1602, involves psychological pressures "which work to undermine the individual's will to resist and to compel him to speak where he would not otherwise do so freely," id., at 467, 86 S. Ct. 1602. Consequently, it reasoned, "[u]nless adequate protective devices are employed to dispel the compulsion inherent in custodial surroundings, no statement obtained from the defendant can truly be the product of his free choice." Id., at 458, 86 S. Ct. 1602.

To counteract the coercive pressure, Miranda announced that police officers must warn a suspect prior to questioning that he has a right to remain silent, and a right to the presence of an attorney. Id., at 444, 86 S. Ct. 1602. After the warnings are given, if the suspect indicates that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease. Id., at 473-474, 86 S. Ct. 1602. Similarly, if the suspect states that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. Id., at 474, 86 S. Ct. 1602. Critically, however, a suspect can waive these rights. Id., at 475, 86 S. Ct. 1602. To establish a valid waiver, the State must show that the waiver was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary under the "high standar[d] of proof for the waiver of constitutional rights [set forth in] Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 58 S. Ct. 1019, 82 L. Ed. 1461 (1938)." Id., at 475, 86 S. Ct. 1602.

In [Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 101 S. Ct. 1880 (1981)], the Court determined that Zerbst's traditional standard for waiver was not sufficient to protect a suspect's right to have counsel present at a subsequent interrogation if he had previously requested counsel; "additional safeguards" were necessary. 451 U.S., at 484, 101 S. Ct. 1880. The Court therefore superimposed a "second layer of prophylaxis," McNeil v. Wisconsin, 501 U.S. 171, 176, 111 S. Ct. 2204, 115 L. Ed. 2d 158 (1991). Edwards held:

"[W]hen an accused has invoked his right to have counsel present during custodial interrogation, a valid waiver of that right cannot be established by showing only that he responded to further police-initiated custodial interrogation even if he has been advised of his rights. . . [He] is not subject to further interrogation by the authorities until counsel has been made available to him, unless the accused himself initiates further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police." 451 U.S., at 484-485, 101 S. Ct. 1880.

The rationale of Edwards is that once a suspect indicates that "he is not capable of undergoing [custodial] questioning without advice of counsel," "any subsequent waiver that has come at the authorities' behest, and not at the suspect's own instigation, is itself the product of the 'inherently compelling pressures' and not the purely voluntary choice of the suspect." Arizona v. Roberson, 486 U.S. 675, 681, 108 S. Ct. 2093, 100 L. Ed. 2d 704 (1988). Under this rule, a voluntary Miranda waiver is sufficient at the time of an initial attempted interrogation to protect a suspect's right to have counsel present, but it is not sufficient at the time of subsequent attempts if the suspect initially requested the presence of counsel. The implicit assumption, of course, is that the subsequent requests for interrogation pose a significantly greater risk of coercion. That increased risk results not only from the police's persistence in trying to get the suspect to talk, but also from the continued pressure that begins when the individual is taken into custody as a suspect and sought to be interrogated-pressure likely to "increase as custody is prolonged," Minnick v. Mississippi, 498 U.S. 146, 153, 111 S. Ct. 486, 112 L. Ed. 2d 489 (1990). The Edwards presumption of involuntariness ensures ...


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