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State v. King

Superior Court of Maine, Cumberland

May 14, 2014

STATE OF MAINE
v.
MOSES KING, Defendant

ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS

John H. O'Neil, Jr., Justice Superior Court.

This matter was heard on the Defendant's Motion to Suppress on April 17, 2014. The Defendant was present along with his attorney David Bobrow, Esq. The State was present through Assistant District Attorney Angela Cannon.

After careful consideration of all the evidence, the Court indicated on the record that the portions of the Defendant's motions related to reasonable articulable suspicion to stop Mr. King's vehicle as well as the voluntariness of his confession were denied. The Court has indicated on the record that there was enough of a reasonable relationship between the initial description of the victim's assailant and his vehicle, as well as the certainty of the complaining witness regarding the identity of her attacker, and his vehicle, to allow there to be adequate articulable suspicion to stop and briefly detain Mr. King for questioning. See State v. McDonald , 2010 ME 102, ¶ ¶ 6-7, 6 A.3d 283.

On the issue of voluntariness, the Court concludes the State has proven that any statements made by Mr. King were voluntary by the requisite standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. See State v. Sawyer , 2001 ME 88, ¶ 8, 772 A.2d 1173 (" A confession is admissible in evidence only if voluntary, and the State bears the burden of establishing voluntariness beyond a reasonable doubt.") This leaves the remaining portions of the Defendant's motion, which address whether or not custody occurred and if so at which point, and whether or not adequate Miranda warnings and waivers were executed before in-custody questioning.

In order for an in-custody individual's statements to be admissible against him as part of the State's direct case at trial, that individual must have been advised of his Miranda rights prior to making the statement. State v. Bridges , 2003 ME 103, ¶ 23, 829 A.2d 247. An individual is in custody for purposes of Miranda where " there was a 'restraint on freedom of movement' to the degree associated with formal arrest." Id. at ¶ 26. This determination is objective. Id. The court must consider a number of factors to determine, when taken as a whole, " whether a reasonable person, standing in the defendant's shoes, would 'have felt he or she was not at liberty to terminate the interrogation and leave.'" Id. Caselaw has outlined many factors that may be considered in making this determination:

(1) the locale where the defendant made the statements;
(2) the party who initiated the contact;
(3) the existence or non-existence of probable cause to arrest (to the extent communicated to the defendant);
(4) the subjective views, beliefs, or intent that the police manifested to the defendant, to the extent they would affect how a reasonable person in the defendant's position would perceive his or her freedom to leave;
(5) subjective views or beliefs that the defendant manifested to the police, to the extent the officer's response would affect how a reasonable person in the defendant's position would perceive his or her freedom to leave;
(6) the focus of the investigation (as a reasonable person in the defendant's position would perceive it);
(7) whether the suspect was questioned in familiar surroundings;
(8) the number of law enforcement officers present;
(9) the degree of physical restraint placed upon ...

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