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State v. Roberts

Superior Court of Maine, Cumberland

March 22, 2017

STATE OF MAINE
v.
STEVEN ROBERTS Defendant

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S SECOND MOTION TO SUPPRESS STATEMENTS AND MOTION IN LIMINE FOLLOWING EVIDENTIARY HEARING

          JED J. FRENCH JUDGE.

         By Order dated March 2, 2017, the court granted Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration and agreed to set this matter for an evidentiary hearing on Defendant's pending suppression and in limine motions. On March 16, 2017, the court heard oral argument from Assistant District Attorney Carlos Diaz, representing the State, and from Attorney Lawrence Winger, representing Defendant, and heard testimony from paramedic Christopher Desjardins, from Deputy Stephen Welsh, and from Defendant. Defendant filed a Post-Hearing Memorandum on March 17, 2017.

         With respect to Defendant's Miranda-based challenge, the State must prove the admissibility of Defendant's statements by a preponderance of the evidence. State v. King, 2016 ME 54, ¶ 16. Assuming that the scope of the constitutional protections encompassed within the Miranda rule even apply to statements made to EMTs, Defendant concedes, as he must, that Miranda is not triggered unless Defendant was "in custody" at the time.

         The well-established factors for determining whether a defendant was "in custody" are set forth in State v. King:

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) 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 the ...

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