454 N.W.2d 742 (Wis. 1990), 89-0539-CR, State v. McNeil

Docket Nº:89-0539-CR.
Citation:454 N.W.2d 742, 155 Wis.2d 24
Opinion Judge:The opinion of the court was delivered by: Steinmetz
Party Name:STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Paul McNEIL, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:For the defendant-appellant there was a brief (in the court of appeals) by Gary M. Luck and Luck & Rosenthal, Milwaukee and oral argument by Gary M. Luck.
Case Date:May 02, 1990
Court:Supreme Court of Wisconsin
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 742

454 N.W.2d 742 (Wis. 1990)

155 Wis.2d 24

STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent,

v.

Paul McNEIL, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 89-0539-CR.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

May 2, 1990

Argued Jan. 26, 1990.

Page 743

[155 Wis.2d 28] Gary M. Luck (argued), and Luck & Rosenthal, Milwaukee, on brief (in the Court of Appeals), for defendant-appellant.

David J. Becker, Asst. Atty. Gen. (argued), Donald J. Hanaway, Atty. Gen., on the brief (in the Court of Appeals), for plaintiff-respondent.

STEINMETZ, Justice.

The issue certified is whether an accused's request for or appearance with counsel at an initial appearance on a charged offense constitutes an invocation of his fifth amendment right to counsel that precludes police-initiated interrogation on unrelated, [155 Wis.2d 29] uncharged offenses. The trial court answered "no" and we agree.

Other issues in the case include whether the state illegally delayed filing the murder charges to conduct further investigation so as to obtain a sew-up confession. The trial court answered "no." We do not believe the issue presented is consistent with the facts.

Another issue before us is whether the defendant's statements should have been suppressed because they were obtained in violation of the defendant's fifth amendment right to be silent. The trial court answered "no" and we agree.

The final issue raised is whether the trial court should have allowed the defendant to withdraw his guilty plea and granted him a new trial. The trial court answered "no" and we agree.

The case is before this court by certification from the court of appeals granted pursuant to Rule 809.61, Stats. Paul McNeil, the defendant-appellant, seeks review of a judgment of conviction entered on March 18, 1988. Racine county circuit court Judge Emmanuel J. Vuvunas entered judgments of convictions against the defendant for the crimes of party to second-degree murder, party to attempted first-degree murder, and party to armed burglary. The

Page 744

sentence imposed by the judge was an indeterminate term of not more than 20 years for the party to second-degree murder conviction, 20 years for the party to attempted first-degree murder, and 20 years for party to armed burglary, all counts to be consecutive to one another for a total of 60 years.

This matter was initiated by a felony warrant request by Sergeant Robert Stauss of the town of Caledonia Police Department of the Racine county district attorney's office. The complaint was issued on May 27, [155 Wis.2d 30] 1987, by the then Racine county District Attorney Gerald Ptacek.

The warrant was served on the defendant who was being held in the Milwaukee county jail on an unrelated armed robbery charge and was brought before a Racine county magistrate on June 4, 1987. A preliminary examination was held on June 11, 1987, and subsequently various motions including motions to suppress the defendant's statements were filed. Judge Vuvunas denied the motions to suppress after five hearings were held.

A postjudgment notice of motion and motion to withdraw the guilty plea were presented. The motion requested a withdrawal of the defendant's guilty plea as a result of a manifest injustice because the court had ruled improperly when it ruled in favor of the state and against the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. McNeil argued that defense counsel was incompetent during the course of the hearings on suppression of statements because counsel did not bring to the court's attention the most recent case law and supporting facts dealing with defendant's situation.

On hearings on the motion to withdraw the guilty plea, Judge Vuvunas ruled that trial counsel had not been ineffective and that he was now considering the case law and record which may not have been available earlier. He stated that even if he had been aware of the case law at the time he made his original decision, he would have ruled the same way and allowed the defendant's statements to be admitted into evidence.

The development of this case begins on May 21, 1987, when two Milwaukee county deputies escorted the defendant back to Milwaukee from Omaha, Nebraska. They had taken defendant into custody on a criminal complaint and warrant charging him with an armed robbery arising out of an incident in the city of West Allis in [155 Wis.2d 31] Milwaukee county. The following day, May 22, 1987, the defendant was brought before court commissioner Frank J. Liska, Jr. in Milwaukee county. Bail was set and the matter was scheduled for a preliminary examination. The defendant had an attorney with him in court at that time.

Later in the day on May 22, and again on May 24 and May 26, still in the custody of the Milwaukee authorities, the defendant was interrogated regarding the episode that was to provide the basis for the criminal charges in this Racine county prosecution. Those charges were made by the filing of a criminal complaint on May 27, 1987. An initial appearance on those charges was held on June 4, 1987, in Racine county pursuant to a writ.

The critical question that must be answered in resolving the issue of the admissibility of the defendant's statements is whether an accused who has requested counsel at his initial appearance has thereby invoked not only his sixth amendment right to counsel, but his fifth amendment right to counsel as well.

The defendant appeared at his initial appearance in Milwaukee county for the unrelated offense of robbery. There he was represented by an attorney from the public defender's office. The record does not reveal whether he requested counsel at his initial appearance, only that he appeared with counsel at that appearance.

Defendant contends that since he appeared with counsel at the initial appearance on the unrelated Milwaukee county charge which triggered his sixth amendment right to counsel, he could not be subject to any further interrogation by the authorities about any offenses, including the Racine county offenses charged in this case, unless he initiated further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police pursuant to [155 Wis.2d 32] Edwards v. Arizona,

Page 745

451 U.S. 477, 101 S.Ct. 1880, 68 L.Ed.2d 378 (1981). Under the Edwards rule, when a suspect invokes his fifth amendment right to counsel during a custodial investigation, no further interrogation may be commenced by the authorities until counsel has been made available to him, unless he himself initiates further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police. Id. at 484-85, 101 S.Ct. at 1884-85.

The defendant contends that his appearance with counsel at the initial hearing on the Milwaukee county charges constituted an invocation of his sixth amendment right to counsel that under the fifth amendment Edwards rule precluded the police from initiating any further interrogation of him, including questioning regarding the unrelated Racine county crimes. He argues that because it was the police that initiated the further interrogation that produced his statements regarding the Racine county crimes, those statements should have been suppressed under the Edwards rule.

There are two distinct rights to counsel when a defendant is interrogated by the police. The first is the fifth amendment right to counsel recognized in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 470, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 1625, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966). That right applies whenever a defendant is subjected to custodial interrogation irrespective of whether or not he has been formally charged with the offense to which the interrogation relates. Id. at 471, 86 S.Ct. at 1626. That right to counsel is not directly conferred by the fifth amendment, but rather is a prophylactic rule designed to safeguard the privilege against self-incrimination that is directly conferred by the fifth amendment. See Solem v. Stumes, 465 U.S. 638, 644 n. 4, 104 S.Ct. 1338, 1342 n. 4, 79 L.Ed.2d 579 (1984).

[155 Wis.2d 33] The other right to counsel potentially applicable at an interrogation is the guarantee of the assistance of counsel in criminal proceedings directly conferred on a defendant by the sixth amendment. 1 That right to counsel attaches only "at or after the time that judicial proceedings have been initiated against [the accused]--'whether by way of formal charge, preliminary hearing, indictment, information, or arraignment.' " Brewer v. Williams, 430 U.S. 387, 398, 97 S.Ct. 1232, 1239, 51 L.Ed.2d 424 (1977). Such right is only applicable to interrogation that occurs subsequent to the initiation of formal judicial proceedings relating to the charge about which the interrogation is concerned.

Although it was initially recognized only in the fifth amendment context, the Edwards rule also applies to an invocation of the sixth amendment right to counsel. Thus, the Edwards rule also applies whenever an accused invokes his sixth amendment right to counsel, not just when he invokes it during the course of custodial interrogation. The invocation of right to counsel at an initial appearance will therefore trigger the Edwards rule. See Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625, 636, 106 S.Ct. 1404, 89 L.Ed.2d 631 (1986).

[155 Wis.2d 34] While the Edwards rule applies to both the fifth and sixth amendment rights to counsel, the scope of its application differs depending on which of the two rights is being invoked. In the fifth amendment context, an invocation of the right during custodial interrogation precludes further questioning on any offense, not just the one that was the subject of the interrogation. Arizona v. Roberson, 486 U.S. 675, 685, 108 S.Ct. 2093, 2100, 100 L.Ed.2d 704 (1988) (distinguishing the sixth amendment right to counsel from the fifth amendment prophylactic right to counsel to protect against self-incrimination).

In contrast, an invocation of the sixth amendment right to counsel on one offense does not trigger the Edwards rule with

Page 746

respect to interrogation on other...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP