Collins v. State, No. 785S265

Docket NºNo. 785S265
Citation509 N.E.2d 827
Case DateJuly 01, 1987
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 827

509 N.E.2d 827
Donald C. COLLINS, Appellant (Defendant Below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below).
No. 785S265.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
July 1, 1987.

Page 829

Robert H. Little, Brookston, for appellant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., and Jody Cusson-Cobb, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

DICKSON, Justice.

Appellant-defendant Donald C. Collins was convicted of theft, a class D felony, and was found to be a habitual offender. His direct appeal raises the following issues: 1) confession admissibility; 2) limitation upon examination of witness; 3) sufficiency of evidence; 4) refusal of tendered instruction; 5) prosecutorial misconduct; 6) reasonableness of sentence; 7) legality of prior felony conviction as basis of habitual offender finding; and, 8) sentencing on habitual offender status as separate offense.

Issue 1

Defendant first contends that his statements to police should have been excluded from evidence because they resulted from an alleged illegal detention, lacked voluntariness, and were made in the absence of a proper waiver of rights. The core of defendant's argument derives from police testimony denying that defendant was placed under arrest when he was handcuffed and taken to the jail for questioning. While the officer may have earnestly, though incorrectly, believed that he was not making an arrest, there is sufficient evidence that the detention was supported by probable cause.

Arrest without a warrant is permissible if, at the time of the arrest, the

Page 830

arresting officer had probable cause to believe the defendant had committed a felony. Craig v. State (1983), Ind., 452 N.E.2d 921, 923. Probable cause exists when, at the time of arrest, the arresting officer has knowledge of facts and circumstances which would warrant a man of reasonable caution to believe that the defendant committed the criminal act in question. Green v. State (1984), Ind., 461 N.E.2d 108, 112; Craig v. State, supra; Funk v. State (1981), Ind., 427 N.E.2d 1081; reh. denied (1982). Here the police were informed by the victim of the theft, they were given descriptions and names of the perpetrators, and the officer had seen defendant and two of the others described in the car reportedly stolen and returned. The police had probable cause to justify detaining defendant.

Defendant next contends, in the alternative, that even if the initial detention was not unlawful, the resulting confession was not shown to be voluntary because of the delay between the time of his detention and that of the statement, and the ensuing delay following the statement before his first court appearance. Defendant further argues that his statement resulted from an improper inducement, rendering it inadmissible.

It is well settled that the question of the admissibility of a statement or confession is controlled by determining from the totality of circumstances whether or not the confession was given voluntarily and not through inducement, violence, threats or other improper influences so as to overcome the free will of the accused. Massey v. State (1985), Ind., 473 N.E.2d 146, 147. Before a confession may be admitted into evidence the State must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect intelligently and knowingly waived his rights not to incriminate himself and to have an attorney present. Richardson v. State (1985), Ind., 476 N.E.2d 497, 499; Massey v. State, supra. The question of voluntariness is one for the trial court. We review the question on appeal as we do other sufficiency matters. We do not weigh the evidence, but rather determine whether there was substantial evidence of probative value to support the trial court's finding. Id.

It is true that a confession is inadmissible if obtained by a promise of immunity or mitigation of punishment. Massey v. State, supra; Ashby v. State (1976), 265 Ind. 316, 354 N.E.2d 192. However, vague and indefinite statements by the police about it being in the best interest of the defendant for him to tell the real story or cooperate with the police are not sufficient inducements to render a subsequent confession inadmissible. Massey v. State, supra; Gary v. State (1984), Ind., 471 N.E.2d 695. Implied promises are too indefinite to render a confession involuntary. Gary v. State, supra. Where a promise of leniency results from a specific request by the defendant, as a pre-condition for making a statement, rather than being initiated by the State, its voluntariness is not impaired thereby. Drew v. State (1987), Ind., 503 N.E.2d 613.

The defendant was arrested approximately 6:00 a.m. on a Monday, and he gave an inculpatory statement at 2:20 p.m. that same day. In the present case, defendant requested to speak with the prosecutor in order to make a deal. Defendant offered to give a statement and provide information and evidence on someone else in exchange for his release. The officer testified that he talked to the prosecutor about defendant's request. The prosecutor then appeared and took defendant's statement. At the beginning of the statement, defendant was read his rights, which he acknowledged he understood. Defendant then proceeded to answer each of the questions including several about various criminal activities involving other individuals. The officer testified that no promises were made to the defendant at any time. The record further reveals that the prosecutor told the defendant that he would have to sort things out and let defendant know if defendant would be released. Delay, standing alone, is not determinative upon the question of voluntariness. Pawloski v. State (1978), 269 Ind. 350, 380 N.E.2d 1230.

From our review of the totality of circumstances...

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68 practice notes
  • Bellmore v. State, No. 55S00-8703-CR-328
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 29, 1992
    ...in a position of grave peril or evinced a deliberate attempt to improperly prejudice the defendant. Collins v. State (1987), Ind., 509 N.E.2d 827; Burris v. State (1984), Ind., 465 N.E.2d 171; Maldonado v. State (1976), 265 Ind. 492, 355 N.E.2d Among the alleged acts of prosecutorial miscon......
  • Bivins v. State, No. 06S00-9105-DP-00401
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 4, 1994
    ...making a statement, rather than being initiated by the State, its voluntariness is not impaired thereby. Collins v. State (1987), Ind., 509 N.E.2d 827, 830; Drew, 503 N.E.2d at We find that this statement by the defendant was voluntary. The State's offer of leniency was precipitated by the ......
  • People v. Young, Docket No. 1–11–1733.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • January 23, 2014
    ...benefit from that sentence, and then later complain that it was an illegal sentence.’ ” Lee, 816 N.E.2d at 40 (quoting Collins v. State, 509 N.E.2d 827, 833 (Ind.1987)). There, the defendant had pled guilty to robbery and in exchange for the plea, the State dismissed an allegation of habitu......
  • Coates v. State, No. 485
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 8, 1989
    ...intelligently and knowingly waived his rights not to incriminate himself and to have an attorney present. Collins v. State (1987), Ind., 509 N.E.2d 827. On review this Court does not reweigh the evidence, but rather determines whether there was substantial evidence of probative value to sup......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
68 cases
  • Bellmore v. State, No. 55S00-8703-CR-328
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 29, 1992
    ...in a position of grave peril or evinced a deliberate attempt to improperly prejudice the defendant. Collins v. State (1987), Ind., 509 N.E.2d 827; Burris v. State (1984), Ind., 465 N.E.2d 171; Maldonado v. State (1976), 265 Ind. 492, 355 N.E.2d Among the alleged acts of prosecutorial miscon......
  • Bivins v. State, No. 06S00-9105-DP-00401
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 4, 1994
    ...making a statement, rather than being initiated by the State, its voluntariness is not impaired thereby. Collins v. State (1987), Ind., 509 N.E.2d 827, 830; Drew, 503 N.E.2d at We find that this statement by the defendant was voluntary. The State's offer of leniency was precipitated by the ......
  • People v. Young, Docket No. 1–11–1733.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • January 23, 2014
    ...benefit from that sentence, and then later complain that it was an illegal sentence.’ ” Lee, 816 N.E.2d at 40 (quoting Collins v. State, 509 N.E.2d 827, 833 (Ind.1987)). There, the defendant had pled guilty to robbery and in exchange for the plea, the State dismissed an allegation of habitu......
  • Coates v. State, No. 485
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 8, 1989
    ...intelligently and knowingly waived his rights not to incriminate himself and to have an attorney present. Collins v. State (1987), Ind., 509 N.E.2d 827. On review this Court does not reweigh the evidence, but rather determines whether there was substantial evidence of probative value to sup......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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