Doyle v. State, No. 96-246

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtBefore TAYLOR; LEHMAN
Citation954 P.2d 969
Decision Date26 February 1998
Docket NumberNo. 96-246
PartiesGary Dean DOYLE, Appellant (Defendant), v. The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).

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954 P.2d 969
Gary Dean DOYLE, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
No. 96-246.
Supreme Court of Wyoming.
Feb. 26, 1998.
Rehearing Denied April 21, 1998.

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Sylvia Hackl, State Public Defender; Donna D. Domonkos, Assistant Appellate Counsel (argued); and Scott P. Klosterman, Special Assistant Appellate Counsel, for Appellant.

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William U. Hill, Attorney General; Paul S. Rehurek, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Hugh Kenny, Senior Assistant Attorney General (argued), for Appellee.

Before TAYLOR, C.J., and THOMAS, MACY, GOLDEN and LEHMAN, JJ.

LEHMAN, Justice.

Gary Dean Doyle appeals the Judgment and Sentence entered for his conviction of grand larceny in violation of W.S. 6-3-402(a) and (c)(i) (1997). We affirm.

ISSUES

Doyle presents these issues:

I. Were the incriminating statements made by the Appellant to Officer Broz while in custody and without being read his Miranda rights voluntary under the totality of the circumstances?

II. Was the arrest of Appellant unlawful because the affidavit supporting the arrest warrant was false and misleading and signed by a judge who was not neutral and detached?

III. Was the Appellant denied his right to a speedy trial as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 10 of the Wyoming Constitution?

The State responds:

1. Was Appellant's incriminating statement a product of interrogation and thus subject to suppression under Miranda?

2. Was Appellant's arrest lawful? Did Appellant waive any irregularities relating to his arrest by his failure to object prior to trial?

3. Was Appellant denied his right to a speedy trial on the facts as disclosed by the record in this case?

FACTS

Doyle had lived and worked on the Dumbell Ranch near Casper for about eleven days in September 1994 when the owners of the ranch had to leave to seek medical attention. Shortly thereafter, approximately $15,000 worth of saddles, tack and tools were discovered missing from the barn and stables, and Doyle had disappeared. Officer Jim Broz investigated the theft and placed a notice in a regional law enforcement agency bulletin requesting assistance in locating Doyle. In March of 1995, the Lincoln County, Colorado Detention Center contacted Broz and advised him that Doyle was in custody on forgery charges.

On March 30, 1995, Broz went to the detention center to interview Doyle. Upon Broz's arrival, Doyle was escorted to the interview room. While still standing in the hall at the interview room doorway, Broz and Doyle had a brief interaction. Broz then called the Natrona County authorities; and, based on the information Doyle conveyed to Broz, the district attorney's office filed a complaint and obtained an arrest warrant that same day. The arrest warrant was executed November 1, 1995.

Doyle was arraigned on December 15, 1995, and pled not guilty. Doyle filed a motion to suppress the statements made during the March 30 contact between Doyle and Broz. The court, after a hearing, denied Doyle's motion. The district court held a jury trial on the grand larceny charge on February 12 and 13, 1996, and the jury found Doyle guilty.

Sentencing was set for June 6, 1996. The day before sentencing, Doyle moved to vacate the judgment based on speedy trial grounds and upon allegations going to the validity of the arrest warrant. Doyle also moved for reconsideration of his previously denied motion for a new trial. Doyle had requested a new trial based primarily on his contention that certain trial testimony conflicted with testimony presented at the suppression hearing and demonstrated that his motion to suppress should have been granted. At Doyle's sentencing hearing, the court denied Doyle's motions, then sentenced Doyle to not less than eight years nor more than ten years to run consecutively to the sentence he was currently serving in Colorado for forgery. This timely appeal followed.

DISCUSSION

I. Motion to Suppress

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and

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article 1, sections 6 and 11 of the Wyoming Constitution require confessions, admissions and statements to be voluntary. Simmers v. State, 943 P.2d 1189, 1195 (Wyo.1997). "A statement that is not the product of interrogation or compulsion attributable to authorities or some other improper action is voluntary and admissible." Ramos v. State, 806 P.2d 822, 828 (Wyo.1991) (quoting Griffin v. State, 749 P.2d 246, 254 (Wyo.1988)). Doyle claims his incriminating statements to Broz were not voluntarily made and, therefore, should have been suppressed. He challenges the admission of his statements on two grounds. First, he contends the statements were the product of a custodial interrogation and he was not advised of his Miranda rights. Second, he argues his confession was violative of due process because it was the product of police coercion and deception.

We review de novo a district court's ruling on a motion to suppress for involuntariness. Simmers, 943 P.2d at 1194 (citing State v. Evans, 944 P.2d 1120 (Wyo.1997)). We will not disturb a district court's findings on the factual issues of a motion to suppress unless the findings are clearly erroneous. Simmers, at 1194. Because the trial court has the opportunity to assess the witnesses' credibility, to weigh the evidence, and to make the necessary inferences, deductions and conclusions, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the district court's determination. Id.

We turn first to Doyle's Miranda argument. Statements elicited during a custodial interrogation are inadmissible unless the accused has been advised of his Miranda rights. Kolb v. State, 930 P.2d 1238, 1243 (Wyo.1996). In the case at bar, the State does not dispute the fact that Doyle was in custody when he made the incriminating statements or that Broz did not inform Doyle of his Miranda rights. The pivotal determination, therefore, is whether the encounter between Broz and Doyle amounted to an interrogation.

In Rhode Island v. Innis, the United States Supreme Court defined the term "interrogation" for constitutional purposes. 446 U.S. 291, 300-01, 100 S.Ct. 1682, 1689-90, 64 L.Ed.2d 297 (1980); see also Daniel v. State, 644 P.2d 172, 176 (Wyo.1982). The Court recognized that the term "must reflect a measure of compulsion above and beyond that inherent in custody itself." Daniel, 644 P.2d at 176 (quoting Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. at 300, 100 S.Ct. at 1689). The Court then concluded that

the Miranda safeguards come into play whenever a person in custody is subjected to either express questioning or its functional equivalent. * * * [I]nterrogation under Miranda refers not only to express questioning, but also to any words or actions on the part of the police (other than those normally attendant to arrest and custody) that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect. The latter portion of this definition focuses primarily on the perceptions of the suspect, rather than the intent of the police.

Daniel, at 176 (quoting Innis, 446 U.S. at 300-01, 100 S.Ct. at 1689-90).

At the suppression hearing, Officer Broz offered the following testimony on cross examination:

A [Broz]: * * * I introduced myself. I told him who I was, where I was employed.

I told him that I was here to talk to him about the Dumbell Ranch, the property that was missing from that ranch--well, I said the property that he had taken from the ranch, and when and if we could recover that property.

Q: Did you--was that a question you had asked him, or was that a statement you told him?

A: No. I told him why I was there. There were no questions, no interrogatives.

Q: At the end of that statement, what did Mr. Doyle say, or how did he react?

A: Mr. Doyle's first answer to me was, he said, "The stuff I took from that ranch I sold at a flee [sic] market on Indian School Road, in Phoenix, Arizona."

On redirect, Officer Broz further described the exchange:

* * * It wasn't one continuous statement. As soon as I told him who I was, where I

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was from, what I needed to talk to him about, he told me--his first words to me were that he had taken the stuff from the Dumbell Ranch to a flee [sic] market on Indian School Road in Phoenix, and sold it.

He continued, at that point uninterrupted, with the fact that he was drunk or on a drunken binge and drunk most of the time he was at the Dumbell Ranch, and that he doesn't remember where all the stuff is. And he says, "You're not going to be able to find it anyway."

At the close of the suppression hearing, the district court denied Doyle's motion to suppress, finding that "the statements made by the defendant were made voluntarily, and were not the product of interrogation by the officer, as the defendant made the statements without being questioned and before the conversation had reached a point where the officer would have advised him of his rights."

The question is whether Broz should have known his remarks would...

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12 practice notes
  • Grissom v. State, No. 04-154.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 13, 2005
    ...Lewis [v. State], 2002 WY 92, ¶ 18, 48 P.3d [1063,] 1068 [(Wyo.2002)]; Mitchell v. State, 982 P.2d 717, 721 (Wyo.1999); Doyle v. State, 954 P.2d 969, 971-72 Gunn v. State, 2003 WY 24, ¶¶ 7-11, 64 P.3d 716, 719-20 (Wyo.2003). [¶ 20] Even if we were to assume, for purposes of this appeal, tha......
  • Pena v. State, No. 03-13.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 6, 2004
    ...V and XIV, as well as the Wyoming Constitution, art. 1, §§ 6 and 11, require admissions and statements to be voluntary. Doyle v. State, 954 P.2d 969, 971-72 (Wyo.1998); State v. Evans, 944 P.2d 1120, 1124 (Wyo.1997). To be voluntary, the defendant's statements must result from "free and del......
  • Bhutto v. State, No. 04-89.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 13, 2005
    ...also must be voluntary. Lewis, 2002 WY 92, ¶ 18, 48 P.3d at 1068; Mitchell v. State, 982 P.2d 717, 721 (Wyo.1999); Doyle v. State, 954 P.2d 969, 971-72 "`To be voluntary, the defendant's statements must result from "free and deliberate choice rather than intimidation, coercion, or deception......
  • Rodriguez v. State, S-18-0083
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • March 5, 2019
    ..., 2009 WY 125, ¶¶ 10, 19, 217 P.3d 793, 798-99, 800-01 (Wyo. 2009) ; Mora v. State , 984 P.2d 477, 479-80 (Wyo. 1999) ; Doyle v. State , 954 P.2d 969, 974-75 (Wyo. 1998) ; Lobatos v. State , 875 P.2d 716, 721 (Wyo. 1994). Notably, while these decisions applied a plain error analysis to clai......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Grissom v. State, No. 04-154.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 13, 2005
    ...Lewis [v. State], 2002 WY 92, ¶ 18, 48 P.3d [1063,] 1068 [(Wyo.2002)]; Mitchell v. State, 982 P.2d 717, 721 (Wyo.1999); Doyle v. State, 954 P.2d 969, 971-72 Gunn v. State, 2003 WY 24, ¶¶ 7-11, 64 P.3d 716, 719-20 (Wyo.2003). [¶ 20] Even if we were to assume, for purposes of this appeal, tha......
  • Pena v. State, No. 03-13.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 6, 2004
    ...V and XIV, as well as the Wyoming Constitution, art. 1, §§ 6 and 11, require admissions and statements to be voluntary. Doyle v. State, 954 P.2d 969, 971-72 (Wyo.1998); State v. Evans, 944 P.2d 1120, 1124 (Wyo.1997). To be voluntary, the defendant's statements must result from "free and del......
  • Bhutto v. State, No. 04-89.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 13, 2005
    ...also must be voluntary. Lewis, 2002 WY 92, ¶ 18, 48 P.3d at 1068; Mitchell v. State, 982 P.2d 717, 721 (Wyo.1999); Doyle v. State, 954 P.2d 969, 971-72 "`To be voluntary, the defendant's statements must result from "free and deliberate choice rather than intimidation, coercion, or deception......
  • Rodriguez v. State, S-18-0083
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • March 5, 2019
    ..., 2009 WY 125, ¶¶ 10, 19, 217 P.3d 793, 798-99, 800-01 (Wyo. 2009) ; Mora v. State , 984 P.2d 477, 479-80 (Wyo. 1999) ; Doyle v. State , 954 P.2d 969, 974-75 (Wyo. 1998) ; Lobatos v. State , 875 P.2d 716, 721 (Wyo. 1994). Notably, while these decisions applied a plain error analysis to clai......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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