Barksdale v. State

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtMcMILLAN.
Citation788 So.2d 898
Decision Date31 March 2000

788 So.2d 898



Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.

March 31, 2000.

Rehearing Denied August 18, 2000.

788 So.2d 901
Mark Allen Treadwell III, Dadeville, for appellant

Tony Barksdale, appellant, pro se.

Bill Pryor, atty. gen., and A. Vernon Barnett IV, asst. atty. gen., for appellee.

McMILLAN, Judge.

The appellant, Tony Barksdale, was convicted of two counts of capital murder. The first count charged the appellant with murder during the course of a robbery in the first degree, and the second count charged him with murder caused by the use of a deadly weapon while the victim was in a vehicle. See § 13A-5-40(a)(2) and § 13A-5-40(a)(17), Ala.Code 1975, respectively. The jury, by a vote of 11 to 1, recommended the death penalty. After a hearing, the court accepted the jury's recommendation and sentenced the appellant to death by electrocution.

The facts of this case, as set out by the trial court, are as follows:

"This crime occurred in Alexander City late on a Friday afternoon, December 1, 1995. Barksdale, a 19-year-old black male, had lived in Alexander City for a very short period of time previously, although he had spent most of his life in Virginia. Several weeks earlier, Barksdale came to the Guntersville, Alabama, area. There he made the acquaintance of two young white males, the co-indictee Jonathan David Garrison, and one Kevin Hilburn, both of whom lived in the Guntersville area. Hilburn was also arrested and charged with this crime, but he was deceased at the time of the trial. Garrison and Hilburn were not familiar with Alexander City. On Thursday night, Barksdale, Garrison, and Hilburn were together in the Guntersville area. Barksdale wanted to go to Alexander City, so very early Friday morning they stole a car in Guntersville and headed for Alexander City. About seven o'clock in the morning they wrecked the car near Sylacauga, but were able to obtain a ride from someone in the neighborhood, who took them to Alexander City. Throughout most of the day, they visited or came in contact with persons with whom Barksdale was acquainted, and asked several of them to take them to Guntersville. No one would. During that afternoon, they made many attempts to flag down vehicles belonging to strangers, but few would stop. Finally, one person gave them a ride as far as a local shopping center. They approached several people without success. One acquaintance testified that Barksdale said he would "jack" somebody to get back to Guntersville. Several others testified to seeing him with a gun. Barksdale had the gun when the three left Guntersville, and he was the only one armed. Barksdale told
788 So.2d 902
the other two that he would shoot someone in order to get a ride back to Guntersville, and he would rather shoot one than two.
"The victim, 19-year-old Julie Rhodes, worked at a store in the shopping center. As she was returning in her old Maxima [automobile] from her supper break to the parking area, Barksdale flagged her down and the three of them got in the car with the victim. Barksdale was seated in the backseat. He gave Julie directions to drive in the neighborhood, and to turn into a `dead-end' street and stop. Garrison and Hilburn got out and ran behind a nearby shed. The Maxima moved along the street past several houses, turned into a driveway, backed out, and came back down the street. Two shots were fired by Barksdale and the car stopped. Barksdale pushed Julie out of the car and told Garrison and Hilburn to get in. They went to some place in Alexander City and disposed of some things that were in the car and then drove back to Guntersville. Barksdale still had the gun and displayed it to several people. All of them were arrested several days later and the automobile and pistol were recovered.
"Desperately seeking help and trying to escape, Julie managed to get to some nearby houses. Someone heard her screams and she was discovered lying in the yard of a house, bleeding profusely. Medics were called and she was transported to a local hospital for emergency treatment and then transported by helicopter to Birmingham. She was dead on arrival in Birmingham. She was shot once in the face and once in the back. She was bleeding to death and went into shock. She was fearful and was trying to escape her assailant, and expressed several times to various persons, including medical personnel, that she was going to die. She was correct.
"Co-indictee Garrison pled guilty to Murder and received a life sentence. He testified for the State against Barksdale as a part of the plea agreement.
"At the sentencing phase only, the State proved that the defendant was previously convicted in Virginia of armed robbery, a felony involving the use or threat of violence to a person."


The appellant contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his pretrial statements. Initially, the appellant argues that the statements were taken pursuant to an illegal detention by the police and that the statements made during the custodial interrogation were therefore involuntary. Alternatively, the appellant argues that if he was, in fact, under arrest at the time he gave his statements, his arrest was illegal because the police lacked probable cause for the arrest.

This Court has addressed the question whether an individual was in custody by looking to the following guidelines:

"The United States Supreme Court in California v. Beheler, 463 U.S. 1121, 103 S.Ct. 3517, 77 L.Ed.2d 1275 (1983) articulated `the standard by which "custody" is to be judged.' Davis [v. Allsbrooks, 778 F.2d 168, 171 (4th Cir.1985) ]. In its opinion, the Supreme Court stated that `although the circumstances of each case must certainly influence a determination of whether a suspect is "in custody" for purposes of receiving Miranda protection, the ultimate inquiry is simply whether there is a "formal arrest or restraint on freedom of movement" of the degree associated with a formal arrest.' California v. Beheler, supra, 463 U.S. at 1125, 103 S.Ct. at 3519-20 (quoting [Oregon v.] Mathiason, supra, 429
788 So.2d 903
U.S. [492] at 495, 97 S.Ct. [711] at 714 [50 L.Ed.2d 714 (1977) ]). See also Primm v. State, 473 So.2d 1149 (Ala.Cr. App.1985).
"A determination of `custody' is not based on `the subjective evaluation of the situation by the defendant or the police officers.' Davis, supra at 171. Where there has not been a formal arrest (as here), an objective test is used to determine whether the suspect's freedom of action has been restricted by the police in any significant manner. Davis, supra at 171; [United States v.] Miller, [587 F.Supp. 1296, 1299 (W.D.Pa.1984) ]; Warrick [v. State, 460 So.2d 320, 322 (Ala.Cr.App.1984) ]; Hall [v. State, 399 So.2d 348, 351 (Ala.Cr.App.1981) ]. `The only relevant inquiry is how a reasonable man in the suspect's position would have understood his position.' United States v. Jonas, 786 F.2d 1019, 1022 (11th Cir.1986) (quoting Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, [442], 104 S.Ct. 3138, 3152, 82 L.Ed.2d 317 (1984)).
"`Pertinent factors to be considered include (1) the language used to summon the individual, (2) the extent to which the defendant is confronted with evidence of guilt, (3) the physical surroundings of the interrogation, (4) the duration of the detention, and (5) the degree of pressure applied to detain the individual. United States v. Crisco, 725 F.2d 1228, 1231 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 977, 104 S.Ct. 2360, 80 L.Ed.2d 832 (1984); [United States v.] Booth, 669 F.2d [1231] at 1235 [ (9th Cir.1981) ]; United States v. Curtis, 568 F.2d 643, 646 (9th Cir. 1978).'
"United States v. Wauneka, 770 F.2d 1434, 1438 (9th Cir.1985)."

Hooks v. State, 534 So.2d 329, 348 (Ala.Cr. App.1987), aff'd, 534 So.2d 371 (Ala.1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 1050, 109 S.Ct. 883, 102 L.Ed.2d 1005 (1989).

"In deciding whether an accused is in custody, the court must consider the `totality of the circumstances.' Bradley v. State, 494 So.2d 750, 758 (Ala.Cr.App. 1985), aff'd, 494 So.2d 772 (Ala.1986), cert. denied, 480 U.S. 923, 107 S.Ct. 1385, 94 L.Ed.2d 699 (1987)...." Woods v. State, 641 So.2d 316, 320-21 (Ala.Cr.App.1993).

Here, the record reveals that the trial court held a suppression hearing before it received the statements into evidence. During this hearing, Investigator L.C. Gill, of the Marshall County Sheriffs Department, testified that he and Investigator Phil Sims took the appellant into custody around 2:00 a.m. on December 4, 1995. He testified that, after restraining the appellant with handcuffs, he placed him in the police vehicle and read him his rights, pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), from a card that he carried with him. He testified that he then asked the appellant where he had hidden the victim's car and the appellant replied that he "didn't know nothing about no car." Investigator Gill testified that he did not ask the appellant any further questions.

Investigator Phil Sims, also of the Marshall County Sheriffs Department, testified that he interviewed the appellant at approximately 3:50 a.m. on the morning of December 4, 1995. He testified that, before questioning the appellant, he read him his rights from the Miranda waiver-of-rights form. The appellant verbally acknowledged that he understood his rights, and he signed the waiver form. Investigator Sims testified that he questioned the appellant about the events surrounding the murder and his involvement in stealing the Ford Taurus in Guntersville. He testified that the appellant admitted that he was involved in stealing the car from Guntersville

788 So.2d 904
but merely smiled in response to the questions concerning the murder. Sims testified that the interview lasted approximately 10 minutes

Investigator John Mashburn and Investigator Lisa White, of the Guntersville Police Department, both testified that they interviewed the appellant at...

To continue reading

Request your trial
25 practice notes
  • Jones v. State, CR-03-1504.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 25, 2006 her death, it was not appropriate for the court to find the existence of this aggravating circumstance. In Barksdale v. State, 788 So.2d 898 (Ala.Crim.App.), cert. denied, 788 So.2d 915 (Ala.2000), we addressed the application of this aggravating circumstance, stating as "In Ex parte Kyz......
  • Turner v. State, CR-99-1568.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • November 22, 2002
    ...the trial court to state facts concerning the prolonged suffering, pain, and torture inflicted on the victim. See Barksdale v. State, 788 So.2d 898 For the reasons detailed above, this case is due to be, and is hereby, remanded to the circuit court of Limestone County for that Court to vaca......
  • Shanklin v. State, CR-11-1441
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • February 19, 2015
    ...2005); White v. State, 900 So. 2d 1249 (Ala. Crim. App. 2004); Wynn v. State, 804 So. 2d 1122 (Ala. Crim. App. 2000); Barksdale v. State, 788 So. 2d 898 (Ala. Crim. App. 2000); Freeman v. State, 776 So. 2d 160 (Ala. Crim. App. 1999); Burtram v. State, 733 So. 2d 921 (Ala. Crim. App. 1998); ......
  • Howard v. State, 2003-DR-01881-SCT.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • September 28, 2006 this language, we find that it is sufficient. Randle, 827 So.2d at 713-14. ¶ 79. Howard additionally relies on Barksdale v. State, 788 So.2d 898 (Ala. Crim.App.2000), as support for his argument that the limiting instruction was fatally flawed. We have recently rejected the identical arg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • Barksdale v. Dunn, CASE NO. 3:08-CV-327-WKW [WO]
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • December 21, 2018
    ...several times to various people, including medical personnel, that she was going to die.23 She was correct.Page 8 Barksdale v. State, 788 So. 2d 898, 901-02 (Ala. Crim. App. 2000), cert. denied, 788 So. 2d 915 (Ala. 2000), cert. denied, 532 U.S. 1055 (2001) (Footnotes added).B. Indictment O......
  • Shanklin v. State, CR–11–1441.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • December 19, 2014
    ...; White v. State, 900 So.2d 1249 (Ala.Crim.App.2004) ; Wynn v. State, 804 So.2d 1122 (Ala.Crim.App.2000) ; Barksdale v. State, 788 So.2d 898 (Ala.Crim.App.2000) ; Freeman v. State, 776 So.2d 160 (Ala.Crim.App.1999) ; Burtram v. State, 733 So.2d 921 (Ala.Crim.App.1998) ; Hyde v. State, 778 S......
  • Key v. State
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • March 1, 2002
    ...opinion on return to remand; McGriff v. State, [Ms. CR-97-0179, Sept. 29, 2000] ___ So.2d ___ (Ala.Crim.App.2000); Barksdale v. State, 788 So.2d 898 (Ala.Crim.App.), cert. denied, 788 So.2d 915 (Ala.2000), cert. denied, 532 U.S. 1055, 121 S.Ct. 2200, 149 L.Ed.2d 1030 After carefully reviewi......
  • Martin v. State, CR-99-2249.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 22, 2003
    ...example of what is heinous, atrocious or cruel, then in this Court's opinion these words lack meaning." (C. 127.) In Barksdale v. State, 788 So.2d 898 (Ala.Crim.App.), cert. denied, 788 So.2d 915 (Ala.2000), cert. denied, 532 U.S. 1055, 121 S.Ct. 2200, 149 L.Ed.2d 1030 (2001), we addressed ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT