389 F.2d 530 (5th Cir. 1968), 24373, Windsor v. United States

Docket Nº:24373.
Citation:389 F.2d 530
Party Name:Ronald Dale WINDSOR, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:January 31, 1968
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 530

389 F.2d 530 (5th Cir. 1968)

Ronald Dale WINDSOR, Appellant,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 24373.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

January 31, 1968

Page 531

Karl Leib, Jr., Miami, Fla., for appellant.

Michael J. Osman, Theodore Klein, Asst. U.S. Attys., Miami, Fla., for appellee.

Before GEWIN, BELL and AINSWORTH, Circuit Judges.

AINSWORTH, Circuit Judge:

In this criminal case the question for decision is whether the circumstances required the giving of the Miranda warnings by Government agents to safeguard defendant's Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination by the presence of counsel during interrogation, before obtaining an oral and later a written incriminating statement from defendant. Both confessions were received in evidence at the trial, over appellant's objection, and he was convicted of transporting a stolen motor vehicle in interstate commerce (18 U.S.C. § 2312). 1

On June 14, 1966-- one day after the Supreme Court announced its decision in Miranda v. State of Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966)-- appellant and his companion, Robert Carroll Sharp, were stopped in an automobile by the Bal Harbour, Florida, police for a traffic violation. Sharp, who was driving, was unable to post the $50 bond required of nonresident traffic violators and was taken to jail. When he failed to prove ownership of the vehicle, the local police contacted the FBI. That evening two agents of the FBI interviewed Sharp in jail about the vehicle, and according to their testimony, Sharp said that during the latter part of May 1966 he was working at the Olympus Hotel in Tacoma, Washington, with the defendant, Windsor, and a girl named Arlene Stephens; further, Sharp said that Miss Stephens had rented a car from a car rental agency and asked him and Windsor to take the car back to the agency for her, which they did, but they informed the agency that the car was defective and that Miss Stephens wanted another car; and finally that on this false representation the agency furnished him and Windsor with a 1965 Plymouth,

Page 532

and shortly thereafter they left the State of Washington together in the vehicle and eventually drove to Miami. The agents testified that Sharp admitted that he knew the car was obtained under false pretenses and that it was stolen, and further said that he and the defendant, Windsor, drove the car to Miami.

Sharp gave the Government agents the key to his motel room at the Alda Motel which he told the agents he shared with defendant Windsor, and the agents immediately went to the motel the same night to search it. Agent Hufford testified that when the agents arrived at the motel they first talked in lobby with two persons by the name of Roth and Morgan for background information, and attempted to determine if they knew anything about the car. The agents asked to talk with them in their motel room and upon entering the room they saw a gun which they seized to make sure it could not be used against them. The agents asked whose gun it was and Windsor, who was in the room, identified himself and said the gun was his. The agents then told Windsor they has the key to his motel room to look for Sharp's draft card, and asked him if he would go with them. He agreed and accompanied the agents to the room. Agent Hufford testified that he and his fellow agent identified themselves and informed Windsor he was not under arrest and was not being detained in any way and was not to construe this as being detained; that he did not have to make a statement; that any statement he did make could be used against him in a court of law; and that he could speak to an attorney or...

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