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State v. Johansen

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

November 25, 2014

STATE OF MAINE
v.
SETH M. JOHANSEN

Argued: June 10, 2014.

Judgment affirmed.

On the briefs: Hunter J. Tzovarras, Esq., Bangor, for appellant Seth M. Johansen.

R. Christopher Almy, District Attorney, and Tracy Collins Lacher, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District V, Bangor, for appellee State of Maine.

At oral argument: Hunter J. Tzovarras, Esq., for appellant Seth M. Johansen.

Tracy Collins Lacher, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee State of Maine.

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

OPINION

Page 434

SAUFLEY, C.J.

[¶1] Seth M. Johansen appeals from a judgment entered in the trial court ( Campbell, J.) revoking his probation based on findings that he committed new crimes of burglary and theft. Johansen contends that the court erred by admitting a police officer's testimony about Johansen's confessions, despite having found that the inculpatory statements were obtained following Johansen's initial in-custody indication that he did not want to talk with law enforcement. We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] In March 2012, Johansen pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary (Class B), 17-A M.R.S. § 401(1)(B)(4) (2013), one count of criminal mischief (Class D), 17-A M.R.S. § 806(1)(A) (2013), and four counts of theft (Class E), 17-A M.R.S. § 353(1)(A) (2013). The trial court ( Nivison, J.) sentenced Johansen to two years' imprisonment with all but sixty days suspended, and imposed two years of probation. One of the conditions of probation was that Johansen " refrain from all criminal conduct and violation of federal, state, and local laws."

[¶3] On the morning of February 28, 2013, two police officers responded to a burglary reported by a man who lived in the same apartment building as Johansen. The man told a police officer that, the night before the burglary, Johansen had been in his apartment and asked to borrow five dollars from the man's jar of change. On the morning of the burglary, as the man was leaving his apartment, he saw Johansen coming up the stairs; upon seeing the man, Johansen awkwardly turned around and hurried away. Later that day, when the man returned home, he found that an entry had been made into his apartment through the fire escape and that the jar of change was missing.

[¶4] At some point before the officers spoke with Johansen, they learned that Johansen was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant, issued in September 2012, for failure to report to his probation officer.[1] The two officers went ...


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