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State v. Samuel

Supreme Court of Idaho

September 11, 2019

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ELDON GALE SAMUEL III, Defendant-Appellant

          Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Benjamin R. Simpson, District Judge.

         The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, attorneys for Appellant. Maya P. Waldron argued.

          Lawrence W. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, attorneys for Respondent. Theodore S. Tollefson argued.

          BEVAN, JUSTICE.

         I. Nature of the Case

         Eldon Samuel III appeals from a district court judgment entered after a jury found Samuel guilty of second degree murder for killing his father and first degree murder for killing his brother. We affirm.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         Samuel was born in California in 1999. Samuel's parents had another son eleven months after Samuel was born. Samuel's younger brother was severely autistic and required significant attention. Both of Samuel's parents had prescription drug addictions which led to financial problems, criminal charges, and arrests. Throughout Samuel's childhood the family lived in shoddy, cockroach-infested residences and moved frequently, usually after they had been evicted for not paying rent. Samuel's mother started abusing pain pills following a car accident when Samuel was 4, became suicidal, and was hospitalized several times. Samuel's father became addicted to pain pills after he injured his shoulder at work. Samuel's father began to believe that a "zombie apocalypse" was inevitable. Samuel's mother testified that Samuel's father taught him how to kill zombies by playing violent video games, watching zombie themed movies, and training Samuel to use knives and guns.

         Samuel witnessed extreme violence growing up. When Samuel was four he watched his father pour lighter fluid on his mother and threaten to burn her alive because he wanted a settlement check she received from a car accident. When Samuel was six he watched his father intentionally drive over his mother, breaking her collar bone. When Samuel was ten his father pointed a gun at his mother's head, bound her with duct tape, and forced Samuel to urinate on her. Child Protective Services were repeatedly contacted in California but never intervened. By 2013, Samuel's mother had left and Samuel's father moved to Idaho with Samuel and his brother. Samuel had frequent visits to the doctor for insomnia, nausea, migraines, blurred vision, and congestion.

         On the evening of March 24, 2014, officers responded to a 911 call at Samuel's residence. Samuel told the operator that his brother and dad had been shot. After officers arrived on the scene Samuel was taken to the police station. After originally telling a different version of the events that evening, i.e., initially blaming his father for killing his brother, Samuel eventually described the following events during a police interrogation.

         Samuel's father was on medication when he shot a .45 gun outside, believing that a "zombie apocalypse" had begun. Samuel told his father to go back inside. Once his father went inside he pushed Samuel in the chest and told him to leave. Samuel picked up his father's gun, and when his father pushed him a second time, Samuel shot him in the stomach. Samuel's father then crawled to Samuel's brother's room, leaving a trail of blood on the floor. Samuel did not believe the first shot killed his father and shot him three more times in the head once he reached Samuel's brother's room.

         After killing his father, Samuel saw his brother hiding under the bed and told him to get out. His brother did not move. Samuel got a shotgun and shot his brother while he was under the bed. Samuel reloaded the shotgun and continued to shoot his brother. Samuel then dropped the shotgun and started to stab at his brother with a knife. Samuel moved the mattress off of the bed frame and got a machete. Samuel swung the machete at his brother through the gaps in the wood planks of the bed frame. When his brother tried to climb out from underneath the bed, Samuel hit him in the back of the head with the machete. Samuel continued to swing the machete as hard as he could until his brother stopped talking and was quiet. Samuel then called 911.

         Originally, the State charged Samuel with two counts of first degree murder. However, after a preliminary hearing, the magistrate court found the State had not established probable cause on the premeditation element for the murder of Samuel's father. Thus, Samuel was charged with first degree murder for his brother and second degree murder for his father.

         Samuel moved to suppress the statements he made during his police interrogation, arguing that he did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his Miranda[1] rights and his statements to the police were not voluntary. In support of his motion, Samuel submitted a forensic mental health examination performed by Dr. Craig Beaver. The district court held that the admissibility of Dr. Beaver's report was conditional on Samuel submitting to a second examination that would be conducted by the State's expert. Samuel declined to meet with the State's mental health expert and the district court excluded Dr. Beaver's testimony. Ultimately, the district court denied Samuel's motion to suppress the interrogation.

         The case proceeded to a lengthy jury trial. The defense theory was that Samuel killed his father in self-defense, and that he killed his brother in a rage-committing manslaughter not murder. The jury found Samuel guilty of second degree murder for killing his father, and first degree murder for killing his brother. The district court sentenced Samuel to a unified term of 15 years, with 10 years fixed, for second degree murder, and a concurrent life term, with 20 years fixed, for first degree murder. Samuel timely appealed, arguing that because of multiple errors during his trial, both individually and cumulatively, the court denied Samuel his right to a fair trial.

         III. Issues on Appeal

         1. Whether the district court erred by denying Samuel's motion to suppress because it impermissibly limited the expert mental health evidence Samuel could present by granting the State's motion under Idaho Code section 18-207.

         2. Whether the district court erred by denying Samuel's motion to suppress the statements he made during his interview with the police because Samuel did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his Miranda rights and his confession was coerced.

         3. Whether the district court abused its discretion when it did not allow Samuel to present evidence of specific instances of his father's violent and irrational behavior.

         4. Whether the district court abused its discretion when it did not allow Samuel's mother to testify that she witnessed Samuel's fear of his father.

         5. Whether the district court abused its discretion by limiting Dr. Gentile's expert testimony.

         6. Whether the district court abused its discretion by excluding a portion of Dr. Julien's expert testimony.

         7. Whether the accumulation of errors, even if individually harmless, deprived Samuel of his right to a fair trial.

         8. Whether the district court abused its discretion during sentencing.

         IV. Analysis

         A. The district court did not err when it granted the State's motion under Idaho Code section 18-207(4)(c), requiring Samuel to submit to an examination by the State's expert if Samuel wanted to present his own expert testimony that he did not voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently waive his Miranda rights.

         Samuel moved to suppress his police interrogation alleging that he did not voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently, waive his Miranda rights. In support, Samuel submitted a report from a forensic mental health examination performed by Dr. Craig Beaver. Dr. Beaver opined that Samuel did not appreciate his Miranda rights and did not understand his right to remain silent or his right to have legal counsel present. The State filed a motion under Idaho Code section 18-207(4)(c) requesting the opportunity for its own expert to examine Samuel. The defense objected.

         After a hearing on the issue, the district court granted the State's motion and held that if Samuel refused to submit to the State's expert for examination, it would lead to excluding Dr. Beaver's testimony at the suppression hearing. The defense filed a motion for reconsideration, which the district court denied, maintaining that Samuel had raised the issue of whether his mental condition prevented him from knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waiving his Miranda rights. The district court reasoned that to deny the State's motion for examination would deprive it of the only adequate means to meet the defense's expert testimony. The State moved to compel the defense to comply with the court's order. Samuel filed a notice of intent to remain silent, stating that Samuel would neither meet with nor talk to the State's mental health expert. The State thus moved to exclude Dr. Beaver's testimony and strike any reference to Dr. Beaver's report. The district court granted the State's motion.

         "In reviewing an order granting or denying a motion to suppress evidence, this Court will defer to the trial court's factual findings unless clearly erroneous. However, free review is exercised over a trial court's determination as to whether constitutional requirements have been satisfied in light of the facts found." State v. Doe, 137 Idaho 519, 522, 50 P.3d 1014, 1017 (2002) (quoting State v. Donato, 135 Idaho 469, 470, 20 P.3d 5, 6 (2001)).

When a party challenges a statute on constitutional grounds, it "bears the burden of establishing that the statute is unconstitutional and must overcome a strong presumption of validity. Appellate courts are obligated to seek an interpretation of a statute that upholds its constitutionality." State v. Manzanares, 152 Idaho 410, 418, 272 P.3d 382, 390 (2012) (quoting State v. Korsen, 138 Idaho 706, 711, 69 P.3d 126, 131 (2003)).

State v. Kelley, 161 Idaho 686, 689, 390 P.3d 412, 415 (2017).

         "The interpretation of a statute must begin with the literal words of the statute; those words must be given their plain, usual, and ordinary meaning; and the statute must be construed as a whole. If the statute is not ambiguous, this Court does not construe it, but simply follows the law as written." Verska v. Saint Alphonsus Reg'l Med. Ctr., 151 Idaho 889, 893, 265 P.3d 502, 506 (2011) (internal quotation omitted).

         The State's motion was made under Idaho Code section 18-207, which provides:

(4) No court shall, over the objection of any party, receive the evidence of any expert witness on any issue of mental condition, or permit such evidence to be placed before a jury, unless such evidence is fully subject to the adversarial process in at least the following particulars:
(c) Raising an issue of mental condition in a criminal proceeding shall constitute a waiver of any privilege that might otherwise be interposed to bar the production of evidence on the subject and, upon request, the court shall order that the state's experts shall have access to the defendant in such cases for the purpose of having its own experts conduct an examination in preparation for any legal proceeding at which the defendant's mental condition may be in issue.

I.C. § 18-207(4)(c).

         Samuel argues that the district court's granting the State's motion to exclude Dr. Beaver's testimony under Idaho Code section 18-207(4) was erroneous on four grounds. First, section 18-207(4) is unconstitutional because the legislature created procedural rules in violation of the Idaho Constitution. Second, section 18-207(4) does not apply to pretrial motions. Third, section 18-207(4)(c) does not apply under these circumstances because the State, not Samuel, implicated his mental health by claiming his Miranda waiver was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary. Fourth, that section 18-207(4)(c) does not apply because Samuel did not offer expert evidence on his "mental condition."

         The State counters that the district court did not err in ruling that if Samuel was allowed to present expert mental health evidence in support of his suppression motion that the State had a right to have its own expert evaluate Samuel. The State maintains that the district court scrutinized all of the evidence and applied the relevant factors before it ultimately denied Samuel's motion to suppress. The State also argues that even if the order to make Samuel available to the State's expert was an error, that error was harmless because the outcome of the suppression motion would have been the same. Similarly, the State argues that even if Samuel had presented Dr. Beaver's evidence it would not have affected the outcome of Samuel's motion.

         1. Whether the legislature impermissibly created procedural rules in violation of the Idaho Constitution.

         First, Samuel alleges that Idaho Code section 18-207 impermissibly reduces the question of a mental condition from the status of a formal defense to that of an evidentiary question. Samuel asserts that the first three sections of section 18-207 pertain to substantive issues: (1) mental condition cannot be an affirmative defense to a criminal charge; (2) correctional authorities must treat the mental condition of convicted person; and (3) expert evidence on the defendant's state of mind as an element of the offense is admissible. I.C. § 18-207(1)-(3). On the other hand, section (4) purports to enact procedural rules governing the introduction of expert evidence about a defendant's "mental condition." I.C. § 18-207(4). The State argues that while at first blush these requirements seem to be procedural evidentiary rules, further examination reveals they are substantive laws because they create, define, and regulate primary rights. The State also asserts that even if Idaho Code section 18-207(4) creates a procedural rule, it does not violate the separation of powers because there is no conflict with the Idaho Rules of Evidence.

         "The Idaho Constitution vests the power to enact substantive laws in the Legislature." In re SRBA Case No. 39576, 128 Idaho 246, 255, 912 P.2d 614, 623 (1995) (citing Idaho Const. art. III, § 1; Mead v. Arnell, 117 Idaho 660, 664, 791 P.2d 410, 414 (1990) ("[O]f Idaho's three branches of government, only the legislature has the power to make 'law.'")). While the legislature has the power to enact substantive law, the Supreme Court holds the inherent power to make rules governing procedure in all of Idaho's courts. I.C. § 1-212. See also State v. Yoder, 96 Idaho 651, 654, 534 P.2d 771, 774 (1975) ("This Court has inherent power to formulate rules of practice and procedure within the courts of Idaho."). This Court has held a substantive law "creates, defines, and regulates primary rights" while "practice and procedure pertain to the essentially mechanical operations of the courts by which substantive law, rights, and remedies are effectuated." SRBA Case No. 39576, 128 Idaho at 255, 912 P.2d at 623.

         Idaho Code section 18-207(4) precludes a party from introducing evidence from an expert witness on any issue of mental condition unless that evidence is fully subjected to the adversarial process in at least these particulars:

(c) Raising an issue of mental condition in a criminal proceeding shall [1] constitute a waiver of any privilege that might otherwise be interposed to bar the production of evidence on the subject and, [2] upon request, the court shall order that the state's experts shall have access to the defendant in such cases for the purpose of having its own experts conduct an examination in preparation for any legal proceeding at which the defendant's mental condition may be in issue.

         We hold that section 18-207(4)(c) is a substantive law because it "defines and regulates" a criminal defendant's substantive right (i.e., "primary right") to submit evidence about his mental health. Additionally, without the provisions of section 18-207(4), there would be no specific provision for acquiring evidence necessary to challenge expert mental health testimony in a criminal case. Thus, the central purpose of this part of the statute is to provide limitations on the right to introduce mental health evidence in a criminal case to those circumstances when that evidence can be "fully subject[ed] to the adversarial process." I.C. § 18-207(4). See also SRBA Case No. 39576, 128 Idaho at 255, 912 P.2d at 623 (substantive law "creates, defines, and regulates primary rights.")

         That said, even if section 18-207(4) created a procedural rule, it does not conflict with the Idaho Criminal Rules. The district court noted that Idaho Criminal Rule 16(c)(4) requires specific compliance with Idaho Code section 18-207:

(4) Expert Witnesses. On written request of the prosecuting attorney, the defendant must provide a written summary or report of any testimony that the defense intends to introduce pursuant to Rules 702, 703 or 705 of the Idaho Rules of Evidence at trial or hearing. The summary provided must describe the witness's opinions, the facts and data for those opinions and the witness's qualifications. Disclosure of expert opinions regarding mental health must also comply with the requirements of Idaho Code § 18-207. The defense is not required to produce any materials not subject to disclosure under subsection (h) of this Rule, or any material otherwise protected from disclosure by defendant's constitutional rights.

         Samuel claims this reference is limited to subsections (a) and (b). The criminal rule is not so restrictive. The rule requires that the defendant "comply" with Idaho Code section 18-207. To "comply" means "[t]o do what is required or requested. . . ." Comply, BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY (11th ed. 2019). The rule is broad and requires that a defendant offering an expert report "do what is required" by the statute, including submit to mental health examination by the State's expert. There is no conflict between Rule 16(c)(4) and subsection (c). Thus, we find no conflict between the Idaho Criminal Rules and Idaho Code section 18-207(4)(c).

         2. Whether Idaho Code section 18-207 applies to pretrial motions.

         Next, Samuel claims that even if the legislature does have the constitutional authority to enact the requirements in section 18-207(4), those requirements do not apply when a defendant claimed his Miranda rights were violated; instead, they apply only when the defendant is trying to introduce evidence of his "state of mind" as it relates to an element of the crime charged, or evidence of his "mental condition" as a mitigating factor at sentencing. Again, Idaho Code section 18-207(4)(c) provides:

(4) No court shall, over the objection of any party, receive the evidence of any expert witness on any issue of mental condition, or permit such evidence to be placed before a jury, unless such evidence is fully subject to the adversarial process in at least the following particulars:
(c) Raising an issue of mental condition in a criminal proceeding shall constitute a waiver of any privilege that might otherwise be interposed to bar the production of evidence on the subject and, upon request, the court shall order that the state's experts shall have access to the defendant in such cases for the purpose of having its own experts conduct an examination in preparation for any legal proceeding at which the defendant's mental condition may be in issue.

I.C. § 18-207(4)(c) (emphasis added). Samuel argues that "any legal proceeding" is limited by the "criminal proceeding" language, and that "criminal proceeding is synonymous with "criminal action" which is defined as "[t]he proceedings by which a party charged with a public offense is accused and brought to trial and punishment . . . ." I.C. § 19-103. The State argues that this interpretation is contrary to recent Idaho Supreme Court precedent, in which this Court held that section 18-207(4) is not limited to trial and "by its plain language, Idaho Code section 18-207(4) does not have limited application." State v. Hall, 163 Idaho 744, 802, 419 P.3d 1042, 1100 (2018), reh'g denied (June 28, 2018). Indeed, in Hall this Court reasoned:

The plain text of section 18-207(4) does not limit its application to trial. It begins with a statement that "[n]o court . . .," which is taken to mean no sentencing court as much as it means no trial court (emphasis added). The lack of specificity grants the statute broad application; by its plain language it is applicable to all courts, unless stated otherwise. Additionally, the requirement in subsection (a) that notice be given "ninety (90) days in advance of trial, or other such period as justice may require" refers to trial, but not to the exclusion of sentencing. Id. It merely sets a deadline for disclosure, it does not indicate which proceeding that disclosure is applicable to. Subsection (a) provides that the deadline could also be "such other period as justice may require," which further underlines that the reference to trial is solely for the purpose of establishing a timeline, not for limiting the application of the section. Id. Similarly, the language in subsection (c) "[r]aising an issue of mental condition in a criminal proceeding" does not limit the application of the requirements to trial. I.C. § 18-207(4)(c) (emphasis added). Thus, by its plain language, Idaho Code section 18-207(4) does not have limited application; it is as applicable to sentencing as it is to trial. The district court did not err in concluding that Idaho Code section 18-207(4) applies to sentencing proceedings.

Id. (emphasis in original).

         The district court looked at the plain language of the statute and held that it applies to the receipt of "evidence of any expert witness on any issue of mental condition." (Emphasis in original). The court was correct; the statute does not limit the admission of either direct or rebuttal expert testimony to elements of the crime. To the contrary, the plain language of the statute makes it clear that it applies to any issue of mental condition in any legal proceeding at which the defendant's mental health condition may be an issue. The district court's decision tracks this Court's decision in Hall. We now clarify that section 18-207(4), because of the statute's broad application, also applies to legal proceedings before trial, including pretrial motions.

         3. Whether the State raised the issue of Samuel's mental condition.

         Next, Samuel argues that even if section 18-207(4)(c) is both constitutionally valid and applies to pretrial issues, that the State's ability to have its expert examine a defendant applies only when the defendant raises the issue of his mental condition. Samuel alleges that here the State raised the issue by claiming that Samuel's Miranda waiver was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, when it tried to admit Samuel's statements. The State concedes that it has the burden to show that the defendant made a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent Miranda waiver, but asserts that there is no obligation for the State to introduce expert testimony about a defendant's mental condition to meet its burden. The State argues that Samuel raised the issue of his mental condition by filing the motion to suppress and proffering expert testimony from Dr. Beaver.

         "The state bears the burden of demonstrating that an individual has voluntarily, intelligently and knowingly waived his rights by a preponderance of the evidence." State v. Doe, 131 Idaho 709, 712, 963 P.2d 392, 395 (Ct. App. 1998) (citing State v. Alger, 115 Idaho 42, 46, 764 P.2d 119, 123 (Ct. App. 1988)). "Generally, the prosecution can meet its burden of proving a prima facie [case] of voluntariness by eliciting from the interrogating officer that the suspect had not been threatened or promised anything and appeared to freely decide for himself to forego the assistance of counsel, and to provide an incriminating statement." State v. Fabeny, 132 Idaho 917, 921, 980 P.2d 581, 585 (Ct. App. 1999).

         We hold that the district court correctly found that Samuel raised the issue of whether his mental condition prevented him from knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waiving his Miranda rights. If we were to adopt Samuel's argument, every time the State sought to introduce evidence following a Miranda waiver it would allow the defense to introduce unrebuttable expert testimony. We hold that Samuel raised his mental condition as an issue by including the opinions of a mental health expert when he filed his motion to suppress.

         4. Whether Dr. Beaver's opinion found that Samuel suffered from a "mental condition."

         Lastly, Samuel argues that Dr. Beaver's report did not discuss Samuel's "mental condition"; it merely discussed Samuel's age, education, experience, background, and intelligence-factors the district court had to review when determining whether a juvenile knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his Miranda rights. Samuel claims that Dr. Beaver's opinion was not based on any diagnosis of a "mental condition" and so the district court abused its discretion when it required Samuel to submit to an examination by the State's expert in order to present Dr. Beaver's report. The State counters that while a court has to consider a totality of the circumstances surrounding a Miranda waiver, that consideration is not limited to whether a party has raised a mental condition as an issue addressing some of those factors. The State points out that age, experience, background, intelligence, and capacity to understand can be addressed by fact witnesses such as teachers, family members, and friends; so, if the defendant wants to present expert testimony about his particular mental condition as it relates to these facts he has a right to do so, but it opens the door for the State to present competing expert testimony.

         Dr. Beaver interviewed Samuel and various family members. Samuel also underwent a neuropsychometric examination four times, for about five hours, where he was subjected to various tests. Dr. Beaver reviewed numerous records and placed significant weight on the transcript summary from Samuel's initial interview with law enforcement and the video recordings of the interview. Ultimately, Dr. Beaver opined:

In conclusion, based upon my knowledge of Eldon Samuel, multiple interviews and records reviewed, and formal testing completed, it is my opinion Eldon Samuel, then 14 years of age, did not appreciate his Miranda rights and voluntarily waive his Miranda rights. He had significant limitations in his ability to understand his Miranda rights and voluntarily waive them compared to an adult. He shows strong evidence he even has less capacity than would be expected even of a 14 year old. Further, he consistently demonstrated in formal testing, interviewing and in review of the transcripts, not to understand his right to remain silent and, of particular concern, his right to have legal counsel present. Unfortunately, law enforcement did not explain or even attempt to evaluate how well he understood his Miranda rights. Rather, they capitalized on Eldon's young age, immaturity, anxiety and isolation to induce Eldon Samuel to waive his Miranda Rights.

         This testimony concerns more than just noting Samuel's age and knowledge; it relates directly to Samuel's mental health by mentioning his "significant limitations" and concluding that he had "less capacity" than a typical 14-year old. We hold that if a defendant wants to present such expert testimony to demonstrate his particular mental condition as it relates to the general factors a court must consider-age, experience, education, background and intelligence-he has subjected himself to the requirements of Idaho Code section 18-207(4), and the State has the right to have its own expert conduct an examination. Thus, the district court properly granted the State's motion under Idaho Code section 18-207(4)(c) and required Samuel to submit to an examination by the State's expert if he wanted to present his own expert testimony that he did not voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently waive his Miranda rights.

         B. The district court did not err by denying Samuel's motion to suppress because the statements he gave to police did not violate his Miranda rights and Samuel gave them knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily.

         On March 24, 2014, at about 9:00 p.m., Samuel called 911 to report a shooting. Police officers arrived at Samuel's home, patted him down, and placed him in handcuffs. The officers did not ask Samuel any questions that would elicit incriminating statements during this procedure. At about 9:40 p.m., Samuel was taken to the police station where he was placed into an interview room. One officer stayed in the room with Samuel, and a few minutes later at least two other officers entered the room. The officers proceeded to take off Samuel's bloody clothing one piece at a time and take photographs. The officers also obtained swabs from Samuel's person. During this process Samuel was asked if he needed anything and Samuel said that he would just like water. Sergeant McCormick informed Samuel that the officers were trying to make sure they preserved any evidence that may have been on Samuel's clothing, and Samuel said that he understood. Afterwards, Samuel was given new clothes, although he did not receive new underwear, socks, or shoes to wear. While removing Samuel's shoes and clothing, the officers repeatedly spoke with Samuel to ensure he was doing all right. The process to photograph, swab, and take Samuel's clothing took about 35-40 minutes.

         Two officers then remained in the interrogation room with Samuel, Sergeant McCormick and Detective Wilhelm. Detective Wilhelm, who took the lead in Samuel's interrogation, was Samuel's school's resource officer. Detective Wilhelm asked some preliminary questions such as Samuel's age and contact information, if he was in any physical discomfort, when he last ate, and how well he slept the previous night. Notably, Samuel did not know his phone number or address. In response to a question about whether Samuel was experiencing any physical discomfort, he suggested that he always hurts all over. When asked what he had for dinner Samuel stated that he had two hot dogs with the bun, and two raw hot dogs around 12:00. Samuel also conveyed that he got "good enough" sleep because he takes medication.

         After the preliminary matters were concluded, Detective Wilhelm gave Samuel a copy of the Miranda waiver form and the following discussion took place:

Detective Wilhelm: Alright. Well, if you're okay let's get down to why-why we're here to talk today. Is that okay with you?
Samuel: Yeah.
Detective Wilhelm: I'm gonna scoot forward a little bit so I can go over this with you, okay?
Samuel: Okay.
Detective Wilhelm: We didn't go over this in the office, but 99% of the kiddos in my office we give them this warning because sometimes we talk to the parents about what we're gonna talk about and sometimes we won't. Okay? So, I've actually got two of these, so I'm gonna give you that, and then I've got one and I'm gonna explain it to you, okay? So this is a - I've got one for you too, sir.
Sergeant McCormick: Thanks.
Detective Wilhelm: This is a Miranda warning. You know how you see on TV, you see like these cop shows? They're just TV shows. Let me tell ya, they're made up. But they slam guys against the car.
Samuel: (Nods head yes).
Detective Wilhelm: They're slamming them up against the car and then they read these rights to them. And it's kind of at the same time, sometimes they slam up against the car, put them in jail, then they read his rights. And so that's not anything like this. Alright.
Samuel: (Nods head yes).
Detective Wilhelm: These are just some rights that everyone is entitled to. Like if I were to talk to my boss or, um, someone that came to my house and said, "Man, I need to talk to you about this." I probably wouldn't but I could pull out these Miranda rights and, "You know what, Officer Joe, I don't want to talk to you and this is why." Okay? Does that make sense?
Samuel: Yeah. (Nods head yes).
Detective Wilhelm: Okay, so I'm gonna read them to ya, and I'll just read them in order, okay? This is [sic] Miranda warning. It says first you have the right to remain silent. Number two. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Third. You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have them present with you while you're being questioned. Good so far?
Samuel: (Nods head yes) Um-hum.
Detective Wilhelm: Okay. So fourth [sic]. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning if you wish on [sic]. So in full print there it says - you're a smart guy. So do you understand each of these rights as I've explained them to you?
Samuel: (Nods head yes).
Detective Wilhelm: Do you understand those rights?
Samuel: Um-hum.
Detective Wilhelm: One through four?
Samuel: Um-hum.
Detective Wilhelm: Okay. Would you mind signing right there?
Samuel: (Grabs pen)
Detective Wilhelm: You sure?
Samuel: Yeah.
Detective Wilhelm: Eldon, can you circle yes for me too, if you don't mind?
Samuel: Yes.
Detective Wilhelm: I didn't know you were a lefty.
Samuel: A lefty?
Detective Wilhelm: Yeah. Did you have left handed handcuffs? I'm ...

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