Opinion No. 51
from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State
of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Cynthia K.C. Meyer, District
denying motion to suppress, affirmed.
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Justin M.
Curtis, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Ted S. Tollefson,
Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
GRATTON, CHIEF JUDGE.
J. Davis appeals from his judgment of conviction entered upon
his conditional guilty plea to robbery, asserting the
district court erred by denying his motion to suppress and
that his confession was not voluntary. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
traveled to Spokane, Washington, to attend a hearing
regarding the custody of his child. Driving back to his home
in Vienna, Missouri, he realized he did not have enough money
to complete the trip and robbed a check-cashing business at
gunpoint in Post Falls, Idaho. He was identified as a suspect
in the robbery pursuant to a review of video footage and a
description provided by the clerk on duty. An arrest warrant
was issued and Davis was arrested after he reached Vienna.
Detectives from the Post Falls Police Department traveled to
Vienna where Davis was in custody and conducted an
interrogation in which Davis made incriminating statements
regarding the robbery.
State charged Davis with robbery, Idaho Code § 18-6501,
burglary, I.C. § 18-1401, in addition to a deadly weapon
enhancement, I.C. § 19-2520. Davis filed a motion to
suppress statements made during the interrogation, which was
denied. Davis entered into a conditional guilty plea
agreement in which he reserved his right to appeal the denial
of his motion to suppress. He pled guilty to robbery and the
State dismissed the burglary charge and the deadly weapon
enhancement. Davis timely appeals.
asserts the district court erred in denying his motion to
suppress because he invoked his right to counsel and because
his confession was not voluntary. The standard of review of a
suppression motion is bifurcated. When a decision on a motion
to suppress is challenged, we accept the trial court's
findings of fact that are supported by substantial evidence,
but we freely review the application of constitutional
principles to the facts as found. State v. Atkinson,
128 Idaho 559, 561, 916 P.2d 1284, 1286 (Ct. App. 1996). At a
suppression hearing, the power to assess the credibility of
witnesses, resolve factual conflicts, weigh evidence, and
draw factual inferences is vested in the trial court.
State v. Valdez-Molina, 127 Idaho 102, 106, 897 P.2d
993, 997 (1995); State v. Schevers, 132 Idaho 786,
789, 979 P.2d 659, 662 (Ct. App. 1999).
an individual is advised of his right to the assistance of
counsel, interrogating officers are only required to cease
questioning if the individual makes a clear and unequivocal
request for counsel. Davis v. United States, 512
U.S. 452, 461-62 (1994). If a reference regarding a desire
for an attorney's assistance is ambiguous or equivocal so
that a reasonable officer, in light of the circumstances,
would have understood only that the suspect might be invoking
the right to counsel, the officer is not required to stop
questioning the suspect. Id. at 454-61; State v.
Payne, 146 Idaho 548, 559, 199 P.3d 123, 134 (2008).
case, the interrogation included in part:
Detective 1: Because I've got you stuck in this little
room here, I'm going to tell you what your rights are,
okay? You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say
can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have
the right to talk to a lawyer and have him present with you
while you're being questioned. If you can't afford to
hire a lawyer, one will be appointed ...