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State v. Babb

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

November 18, 2014

STATE OF MAINE
v.
JESSICA BABB

Submitted on Briefs July 1, 2014.

On the briefs:

Robert C. Andrews, Esq., Portland, for appellant Jessica Babb.

Stephanie Anderson, District Attorney, and Deborah A. Chmielewski, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District No. Two, Portland, for appellee State of Maine.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, SILVER, MEAD, and GORMAN, JJ.

OPINION

Page 879

SAUFLEY, C.J.

[¶1] Jessica Babb appeals from a judgment of conviction for stealing drugs (Class C), 17-A M.R.S. § 1109(1), (2)(A) (2013) entered by the court ( Mulhern, J.) on Babb's conditional guilty plea pursuant to U.C.D.R.P-Cumberland County 11(a)(2); M.R. Crim. P. 11(a)(2). She argues that the court erred in denying her motion to suppress her confession, which was made to police during a voluntary polygraph. Among other arguments, Babb asserts that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, once invoked regarding a specific offense, applies to interrogations arising out of all subsequent, separately alleged offenses. Babb also argues that her Sixth Amendment right to counsel attached when she was interrogated by police before the State filed a charge against her. We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] Several months before the events that gave rise to the current charges, Babb was charged with theft of drugs.[1] On May 16, 2012, the court ( Lawrence, J.) accepted her guilty plea and entered a judgment against Babb on both counts, granting a deferred disposition requiring her to refrain from all criminal conduct and releasing her on bail.

[¶3] Approximately three months later, the events that led to this appeal took place. The following findings by the court are supported by competent record evidence. State v. Drown, 2007 ME 142, ¶ 3, 937 A.2d 157. In August 2012, a Falmouth woman reported to police that jewelry and prescription medication had been stolen from her home. Babb, who was employed at the house as a housecleaner, became a suspect in the investigation. A police detective called Babb and asked if she would meet with him at the police station. Babb drove herself to the police station, where she denied having taken the items from the home. When the detective offered Babb the opportunity to take a polygraph test, she agreed. She took the polygraph test on November 12, 2012. Before administering the test, the polygraph examiner, a police officer, told Babb that she was free to leave at any time. He also told Babb that she would not be arrested during the polygraph test regardless of what

Page 880

she said, but that he would convey the information to the investigating officers, who would take whatever action they deemed necessary.

[¶4] The examiner explained to Babb that, because she was not in custody, Miranda warnings were not required. Nevertheless, he informed her, certified polygraph examiners give the warning as part of their protocol; he administered the warning to Babb. He told Babb that she was free to ...


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