Devrie Burris scored a very short-lived victory at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which mysteriously yanked an opinion granting him a new trial the day after it was published.
Burris’ appellate attorney, Andrew Yu of Carrboro, said he had no idea why the court withrdew the March 21 opinion on March 22.
“I don’t know what happened and there wasn’t any motion filed by the state,” he said. “I don’t know what this means and I don’t know what they’re [the court] going to do next.”
A spokeswoman for the attorney general did not respond to a request for comment.
The decision, which granted Burris a retrial after he was convicted of impaired driving, held that the trial court had wrongly refused to suppress incriminating statements that Burris made to the arresting officer while he was detained without being read a Miranda warning.
The officer had taken Burris’ license and told him to “hang tight” in the parking lot of a hotel while he went inside to speak with the clerk, who’d called in a suspicious persons report after seeing Burris and a woman parked outside.
When the officer returned, Burris allegedly admitted that he’d had a couple drinks. But the appellate court said the statement was inadmissible because the officer had detained Burris when he took his license and told him to “hang tight.”
The latest development in this case must feel a bit like deja vu to Burris, who now must hang tight again until the Court of Appeals makes its next move.s