400 P.3d 1127 (Utah App. 2017), 20140773-CA, State v. Reigelsperger

Docket Nº20140773-CA
Citation400 P.3d 1127, 2017 UT App 101
Opinion JudgeJILL M. POHLMAN, Judge.
Party NameSTATE OF UTAH, Appellee, v. DONALD R. REIGELSPERGER, Appellant
AttorneyAnn M. Taliaferro and John K. Johnson, Attorneys for Appellant. Sean D. Reyes and Karen A. Klucznik, Attorneys for Appellee.
Judge PanelJUDGE JILL M. POHLMAN authored this Opinion, in which JUDGES GREGORY K. ORME and MICHELE M. CHRISTIANSEN concurred.
Case DateJune 22, 2017
CourtCourt of Appeals of Utah

Page 1127

400 P.3d 1127 (Utah App. 2017)

2017 UT App 101

STATE OF UTAH, Appellee,

v.

DONALD R. REIGELSPERGER, Appellant

No. 20140773-CA

Court of Appeals of Utah

June 22, 2017

Page 1128

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1129

Third District Court, Silver Summit Department. The Honorable Todd M. Shaughnessy. No. 131500027.

Ann M. Taliaferro and John K. Johnson, Attorneys for Appellant.

Sean D. Reyes and Karen A. Klucznik, Attorneys for Appellee.

JUDGE JILL M. POHLMAN authored this Opinion, in which JUDGES GREGORY K. ORME and MICHELE M. CHRISTIANSEN concurred.

OPINION

Page 1130

JILL M. POHLMAN, Judge.

[¶1] Donald R. Reigelsperger and his then-wife (Wife) were in the midst of divorce proceedings when he surprised her at her place of work, refused to allow her to leave, and engaged in sexual conduct with her without her consent. Following a jury trial, Reigelsperger was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and four sexual assault offenses. He appeals, asserting that the trial court should have suppressed the statements he made just prior to his arrest and that, in several respects, the jury instructions were plainly erroneous and resulted from ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

The Restraint and the Assaults

[¶2] Reigelsperger and Wife had been married for more than twenty-five years when, in October 2012, Wife informed him that she

Page 1131

was ending their relationship.1 Reigelsperger moved out, and from that time forward he and Wife had little contact. As a general rule they communicated only as necessary for purposes of their divorce proceedings and the property management business they owned, and they informed one another of the details of the business through text messages and voicemails.

[¶3] In January 2013, Wife went to a client's home to complete projects that had occupied her time for the past several days. Reigelsperger had also worked at the home recently, but not during the preceding few weeks, as Wife preferred that they not be at a client's home at the same time. When Wife arrived and entered the home, she saw Reigelsperger. He was inside the home, standing a few feet from the entryway, and was holding a BB gun, which Wife mistook for a small handgun.2

[¶4] Reigelsperger grabbed Wife's hand and tried to pull her into the house, saying, " [Y]ou are coming with me." Wife pulled back and grabbed the doorjamb. The door swung shut on her finger, she screamed, and Reigelsperger released his grip. Once her finger was free, Wife stood in the entryway, crying. She pleaded with Reigelsperger to let her go, but she did not attempt to open the door again. With the gun still in hand, Reigelsperger told Wife she had to stay, and if she tried to escape, he might hit her " over the head with the gun" or " push [her] to the ground and hurt [her]."

[¶5] Reigelsperger directed Wife to move to the large living area, where Wife saw a ladder and " a rope hanging from the high wooden ceiling rafter with a noose on it." Reigelsperger told Wife that she " need[ed] to sit in a chair and watch [him] hang [himself]" and that he might rape her. Reigelsperger also directed Wife to undress and get into a hot tub, which was in the living area. Wife did so, removing all of her clothing except her underwear. Reigelsperger, also wearing his underwear, followed her into the water. Initially, Wife did not know where Reigelsperger had put the gun, but she subsequently saw it " several feet away on the deck."

[¶6] Reigelsperger pulled Wife toward him and told her to kiss him, but she turned her head. Reigelsperger fondled Wife's breasts until he pinched them and Wife said, " [O]uch." Reigelsperger touched Wife's genitals and also penetrated her anus before moving Wife to a bench inside the hot tub and instructing her to perform oral sex on him. She complied. Wife did not attempt to grab the gun, which was currently out of her and Reigelsperger's reach.

[¶7] After Wife performed oral sex on Reigelsperger, he became " very emotional" and told her she could leave. Wife dressed, unintentionally putting her clothes on " inside out and backwards," and Reigelsperger commented, " [Y]ou had better hurry before I change my mind." Wife went to her car and left.

[¶8] Once a short distance away, Wife called 911. Crying throughout the call, Wife reported that her " husband ha[d] a gun" and " want[ed] to kill himself." When asked to repeat the purpose of her call, Wife again said, " My husband[] . . . has a gun and he said he's going to kill himself or hang himself and he just held me at [gunpoint] for an hour." The call was brief, and Wife did not go into detail regarding what had occurred at the home nor did she report being sexually assaulted.

[¶9] Wife went to the police station where she reported being sexually assaulted, was interviewed, and was then escorted to a local hospital. At the hospital Wife underwent a physical exam, which included a swab of the inside of her mouth. Wife struggled to " really communicate" with the examining nurse, but again reported what had occurred between herself and Reigelsperger.

Page 1132

[¶10] Meanwhile, back at the house, Reigelsperger had been attempting to reach Wife. Almost immediately after she left, Reigelsperger called Wife and left a voicemail message, saying, " [Y]ou're already on the phone. I hope [you're] not calling someone to make this situation escalated. I just committed a felony."

[¶11] Shortly thereafter, police officers arrived at the house and took Reigelsperger into custody, not under suspicion of committing a crime, but based on the risk that he was " going to harm himself or someone else." Reigelsperger was taken in an ambulance to a nearby hospital. A police officer followed and, upon arriving at the hospital, filled out forms regarding Reigelsperger's involuntary admittance. The officer reported a substantial risk that Reigelsperger would harm himself unless taken into protective custody, and the officer indicated that he " wanted to be notified prior to the patient's discharge." Reigelsperger was subsequently transferred to the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI).

[¶12] That night Reigelsperger left another voicemail message for Wife, stating, " I'm sorry for my actions," " I treated you so poorly," and " I'm so very sorry for offending you and intruding on your sexuality." Reigelsperger also sent a text message to another family member, stating, " I made [Wife] get in the hot tub with me, and I made her kiss me," and " I acted inappropriately towards her."

The Interview at UNI and Other Statements by Reigelsperger

[¶13] Reigelsperger spent several days at UNI. Five days after he was admitted, two police detectives went to UNI to ask Reigelsperger for a DNA sample. One of the detectives (Detective) had been in " daily contact" with a UNI staff member, " hop[ing]" to be " told when [Reigelsperger] was going to be released" so she could arrest him at that time. Detective apparently believed, based on her communications with UNI staff, that Reigelsperger would be released the following day.

[¶14] Although Detective brought a warrant for Reigelsperger's arrest, UNI staff initially refused to provide access to Reigelsperger or even to acknowledge his presence there. But the detectives were persistent and told UNI staff that they would be taking Reigelsperger into custody that day. They reached an understanding with UNI staff that they would obtain a DNA sample from Reigelsperger if he consented, and they would then arrest Reigelsperger and remove him from UNI.

[¶15] The detectives were escorted to a fairly large room with a couch flanked by two chairs. The detectives sat down in the chairs and waited until UNI staff brought Reigelsperger to the room. Detective was not in uniform and her badge was not visible. The detective who accompanied her was wearing his informal police uniform and his badge and was carrying handcuffs. Both were unarmed.

[¶16] Reigelsperger arrived and sat down on the couch. He was not restrained by the detectives or by UNI staff, and he was not " hooked up to any sort of medical equipment." Reigelsperger was not told that he was under arrest, that the detectives had a warrant for his arrest, or that the detectives planned to remove him from UNI. Reigelsperger also was not told that he was a suspect in a crime, although he had learned from other sources that Wife had contacted the police and reported what had occurred.

[¶17] Detective asked if Reigelsperger would provide a DNA sample, and he provided one. Reigelsperger then began talking as though he " wanted to get his side of the story out." Detective stopped him and informed him of at least some of his Miranda rights, but the recitation and explanation of Reigelsperger's Miranda rights were not recorded because the detectives' audio recorder had not yet been turned on.

[¶18] Detective also provided Reigelsperger with a form entitled " Miranda Waiver." The form provided: " You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in court. You have the right [to] an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed free of charge." The form contained the additional language, " Do you understand these rights? Will you explain your side of the story? If so, please sign."

Page 1133

[¶19] After Detective provided Reigelsperger with the form and discussed it with him, the audio recorder was turned on. Detective asked Reigelsperger if he wanted to keep talking with her, and Reigelsperger immediately indicated that he did and signed the form. He began telling the detectives about the day in question. Detective asked Reigelsperger several questions, which were largely about his...

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26 practice notes
  • 463 P.3d 705 (Utah App. 2020), 20180109-CA, State v. Powell
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals of Utah
    • April 16, 2020
    ...have felt he or she was not at liberty to terminate the interrogation and leave." Reigelsperger, 2017 UT App 101, ¶45, 400 P.3d 1127 (cleaned up). Second, "if the court concludes that the person's freedom of movement was sufficiently curtailed, the court t......
  • 467 P.3d 893 (Utah App. 2020), 20180361-CA, State v. Case
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals of Utah
    • May 29, 2020
    ...Therefore, this issue was not preserved, and we review it for plain error. See State v. Reigelsperger, 2017 UT App 101, ¶38, 400 P.3d 1127. To succeed under the plain error doctrine, Case must demonstrate not only that the trial court's failure to instruct the jury ......
  • 455 P.3d 1087 (Utah App. 2019), 20171012-CA, State v. Leota
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals of Utah
    • November 29, 2019
    ...evidence only as necessary to understand issues raised on appeal." State v. Reigelsperger, 2017 UT App 101, ¶ 2 n.1, 400 P.3d 1127 (cleaned up). [2] The jury acquitted Leota of sixteen of the charged offenses, and we do not address them further. [3] Although Utah Co......
  • 451 P.3d 289 (Utah App. 2019), 20180055-CA, State v. Granados
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals of Utah
    • September 26, 2019
    ...evidence only as necessary to understand issues raised on appeal." State v. Reigelsperger, 2017 UT App 101, ¶ 2 n.1, 400 P.3d 1127 (cleaned [2] In a search incident to arrest, officers also discovered methamphetamine in Granados’s sock and drug paraphernalia in......
  • Free signup to view additional results
26 cases
  • 463 P.3d 705 (Utah App. 2020), 20180109-CA, State v. Powell
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals of Utah
    • April 16, 2020
    ...have felt he or she was not at liberty to terminate the interrogation and leave." Reigelsperger, 2017 UT App 101, ¶45, 400 P.3d 1127 (cleaned up). Second, "if the court concludes that the person's freedom of movement was sufficiently curtailed, the court t......
  • 467 P.3d 893 (Utah App. 2020), 20180361-CA, State v. Case
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals of Utah
    • May 29, 2020
    ...Therefore, this issue was not preserved, and we review it for plain error. See State v. Reigelsperger, 2017 UT App 101, ¶38, 400 P.3d 1127. To succeed under the plain error doctrine, Case must demonstrate not only that the trial court's failure to instruct the jury ......
  • 455 P.3d 1087 (Utah App. 2019), 20171012-CA, State v. Leota
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals of Utah
    • November 29, 2019
    ...evidence only as necessary to understand issues raised on appeal." State v. Reigelsperger, 2017 UT App 101, ¶ 2 n.1, 400 P.3d 1127 (cleaned up). [2] The jury acquitted Leota of sixteen of the charged offenses, and we do not address them further. [3] Although Utah Co......
  • 451 P.3d 289 (Utah App. 2019), 20180055-CA, State v. Granados
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals of Utah
    • September 26, 2019
    ...evidence only as necessary to understand issues raised on appeal." State v. Reigelsperger, 2017 UT App 101, ¶ 2 n.1, 400 P.3d 1127 (cleaned [2] In a search incident to arrest, officers also discovered methamphetamine in Granados’s sock and drug paraphernalia in......
  • Free signup to view additional results