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Tag Archives: confession

Criminal Practice – Weapon Possession – Constructive Possession – Confession – Corpus Delicti Rule – Marijuana Possession

State v. Cox In a car with a driver and three passengers, defendant was seated in the front passenger seat. The driver ran when police arrived, and a gun was found 10 or 12 feet from the car, along the driver’s flight path. Defendant’s mere statement that he owned the gun (after police threatened to charge all three passengers – including defendant’s younger brother – with possession) was insufficient to support the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.

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Criminal Practice – Competency to Stand Trial – Psychiatrist’s Testimony – Confession

State v. Robinson Given the evidence presented to the trial court indicating a significant possibility that defendant may have been incompetent to proceed with trial, the trial court abused its discretion when it denied defendant’s motion to continue the proceedings until defendant’s competency to stand trial could be evaluated.

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Criminal Practice – Confession – Noncustodial – 17-Year-Old Defendant – Backpack Search

State v. Yancey Defendant voluntarily spoke with and rode with police detectives and was told he was free to leave and that he could leave the unmarked police vehicle at any time. Although defendant made his confession while in the detectives’ vehicle approximately two miles from his home, he sat in the front seat of the vehicle and the entire encounter lasted less than two hours. Considering the totality of the circumstances, defendant was not in custody at the time he confessed.

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Criminal Practice – Evidence – Confession – Corpus Delicti Rule – Trustworthiness – Jury Instructions

State v. Sweat The state’s only substantive evidence of four sexual offenses were defendant’s written confession to two instances of fellatio with the minor victim and his oral confession to four such instances. The state satisfied the corpus delicti rule by showing that defendant had ample opportunity to commit the crimes, he confessed to details likely to be known only to the perpetrator, incidents of fellatio fit within the pattern of defendant’s other crimes against the victim, and the victim related four incidents of fellatio to third parties in extrajudicial statements.

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Criminal Practice – Murder – Confession — Miranda Waiver – Constitutional – Effective Assistance of Counsel

State v. Phillips Even though a capital defender learned that defendant had been arrested for murder and tried to get in to see defendant, since defendant waived his Miranda rights and talked to law enforcement officers without asking for a lawyer, law enforcement officers were not required to allow the attorney to see defendant. We find no error in defendant’s convictions of four counts of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, robbery with a firearm, and arson. We also find no error in the sentence of death.

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Criminal Practice – Murder – Insanity Defense – Specific Intent – Jury Instructions – Confession – Miranda Warnings – Confrontation Clause – Expert Witness

State v. Hartley The state was concerned that the trial court's original jury instructions shifted the burden of proof regarding specific intent to defendant, so the court reinstructed the jury: "If you find from the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant [committed the offense charged], it would be your duty to return a verdict of guilty ..., unless you are satisfied that the defendant was insane at that time and/or that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had the required mental capacity to formulate the specific intent required for conviction of this crime."

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