State v. Morgan (Lawyers Weekly No. 13-07-0211, 13 pp.) (Robert C. Hunter, J.) Appealed from Moore County Superior Court (Anderson Cromer, J.) N.C. App.
Holding: Even though the trial court concluded that defendant’s physical injuries and ingestion of controlled substances did not render his written statement involuntary, the trial court did not address whether plaintiff’s waiver of his Miranda rights and his signed statement had been obtained in exchange for a promise of leniency. Since there was a material conflict in the evidence, the trial court should have entered a written order ruling on defendant’s motion to suppress his confession.
We remand for entry of a written order.
Defendant testified that he did not recall signing the confession. He could only recall signing what he thought was a waiver of his Miranda rights, and that he signed the waiver because Detective Shingleton indicated he could help defendant get probation. The detective denied making any promises to defendant. Defendant also testified that he was in a “good amount of pain” and was “highly under the influence” of the controlled substances he had ingested. Detective Shingleton testified that defendant did not appear to be under the influence of any “impairing-type substance” during the interrogation.
This testimony presented a conflict in the evidence which was likely to affect the outcome of the motion to suppress. Thus, the conflict was a material conflict as contemplated by G.S. § 15A-977(f). Accordingly, the trial court was required to enter a written order of its findings and conclusions of law. As it failed to do so, we must remand for entry of a written order on defendant’s motion to suppress with additional findings and conclusions of law addressing the material conflicts in the evidence.