Com. v. McCutchen

Decision Date07 July 1975
Citation343 A.2d 669,463 Pa. 90
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Freddy McCUTCHEN, Appellant.
CourtPennsylvania Supreme Court

Joseph R. Danella, Philadelphia, for appellant.

F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., James Garrett, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Before EAGEN, O'BRIEN, ROBERTS, POMEROY, NIX and MANDERINO, JJ.

OPINION OF THE COURT

O'BRIEN, Justice.

Appellant, Freddy McCutchen, was tried by a judge and jury and found guilty of murder in the first degree and sodomy. Post-trial motions were denied and appellant was given a life sentence, with a ten-to-twenty-year sentence on the sodomy charge to run consecutively with his life sentence. This appeal followed.

Appellant, age fifteen at the time of his arrest, argues that his confession should have been suppressed based on our decisions of Commonwealth v. Starkes, --- Pa. ---, 335 A.2d 698 (1975) and Commonwealth v. Roane, --- Pa. ---, 329 A.2d 286 (1974), because he was not given the benefit of parental or interested-adult guidance prior to giving his confession. We agree.

The facts surrounding appellant's confession are as follows. On June 8, 1972, at or about 6:30 p.m., appellant was approached be two officers of the Philadelphia Police and asked if he would accompany them to police headquarters in order that he could be interviewed concerning the death of Wilfredo Martinez. Appellant consented to go with the police and arrived at police headquarters at or about 7:00 p.m., where he was given his Miranda warnings and questioned from 7:15 p.m. until 9:25 p.m. During this time, appellant denied any involvement in the homicide, but gave the police a statement in which he said that he saw an elderly man run from the area in which the victim's body was found. From 9:25 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., appellant was left alone and then, with his consent, was taken to a polygraph room where a pretest interview was conducted from 10:30 p.m. until 11:45 p.m. After the polygraph tests were administered, appellant was told that he was lying and at about 11:55 p.m., appellant gave an incriminating statement which was recorded in longhand and signed by appellant at 1:10 a.m. After this first confession was ended, the police took appellant's mother to police headquarters; upon her arrival she was told that her son had confessed to the homicide. She then spoke with her son, and another formal typewritten confession was taken, concluding at 4:20 a.m. At no time prior to appellant's first confession was he afforded the opportunity to consult with his mother or an interested adult.

The Commonwealth, in an effort to distinguish the instant case from our decisions of Roane and Starkes, supra, argues that appellant's confession was voluntary because he did not ask to have his mother present, and that because of his prior...

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122 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Hogan
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • October 5, 1978
    ... ... at trial a statement appellant ... [393 A.2d 1139] ... gave in violation of Commonwealth v. McCutchen, 463 ... Pa. 90, 343 A.2d 669 (1975), cert. denied, 424 U.S. 934, 96 ... S.Ct. 1147, 47 L.Ed.2d 341 (1976) (restricting use of ... inculpatory ... ...
  • Com. v. Cain
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • January 28, 1977
    ...of this Court held that a defendant whose case is on direct appeal is entitled to the benefit of our decision in Commonwealth v. McCutchen, 463 Pa. 90, 343 A.2d 669 (1975); accord Commonwealth v. Little, 432 Pa. 256, 248 A.2d 32 (1968); see Commonwealth v. Jefferson, 430 Pa. 532, 243 A.2d 4......
  • Com. v. Hogan
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • October 5, 1978
    ...appellant a third trial because the Commonwealth introduced at trial a statement appellant gave in violation of Commonwealth v. McCutchen, 463 Pa. 90, 343 A.2d 669 (1975), cert. denied, 424 U.S. 934, 96 S.Ct. 1147, 47 L.Ed.2d 341 (1976) (restricting use of inculpatory statements of Before t......
  • Com. v. Veltre
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Supreme Court
    • December 3, 1980
    ...Pa. 389, 329 A.2d 286 (1974), and consistently followed in Commonwealth v. Starkes, 461 Pa. 178, 335 A.2d 698 (1975); Commonwealth v. McCutchen, 463 Pa. 90, 343 A.2d 669, cert. denied, 424 U.S. 934, 96 S.Ct. 1147, 47 L.Ed.2d 341 (1975); Commonwealth v. Smith, 465 Pa. 310, 350 A.2d 410 (1976......
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