Jones v. Cannon, 97-2378

Decision Date11 May 1999
Docket NumberNo. 97-2378,97-2378
Parties12 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 811 Jonathan Dye JONES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Lee CANNON, in his official and individual capacities as Sheriff of Pasco County, Florida, Timothy Powers and Rodney Bishop, in their official and individual capacities as Detectives for Pasco County, Florida, Defendants-Appellants.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit

John W. Jolly, Jr., Tallahassee, FL, for Defendants-Appellants.

Jeffrey A. Blaker, Miami Beach, FL, Susan S. Lerner, Kutner, Rubinoff, Bush & Lerner, P.A., Miami, FL, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Before HATCHETT, Chief Judge, HULL, Circuit Judge, and LENARD *, District Judge.

HULL, Circuit Judge:

Plaintiff Jonathan Dye Jones brought this action under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985, alleging that the Defendants violated his constitutional rights during a criminal investigation and trial. Defendants Sheriff Lee Cannon, Detective Timothy Powers, and Detective Rodney Bishop appeal the magistrate judge's order granting in part and denying in part their motions for summary judgment. After review, we affirm in part and reverse in part.


Plaintiff Jonathan Dye Jones was arrested, tried, and acquitted of the murder and sexual assault of Katharyn Murphy. Defendant Timothy Powers, a detective with the Pasco County, Florida Sheriff's Office, led the investigation. Defendant Rodney Bishop, another Pasco County detective, assisted Powers. Defendant Lee Cannon was the Sheriff of Pasco County during the investigation. Plaintiff's version of events follows.

A. Initial Interview

After the homicide, Detectives Powers and Bishop interviewed two past boyfriends of Murphy, one of whom was Plaintiff Jones.

During that interview on November 24, 1993, at his parents' home, Plaintiff Jones gave conflicting stories about when he had last seen Katharyn Murphy. Initially, Jones indicated that he had not seen Murphy on Friday night of the weekend of her murder, and that after work he had met Debra Gilliard, before returning straight to his parents' house around midnight. Jones volunteered hair and blood samples.

After giving a blood sample and learning that the officers would try to match his DNA with the DNA in seminal fluid found on the victim, Plaintiff Jones admitted being with Murphy that Friday night. Jones first told the officers he had been with Murphy at six or seven o'clock in the evening before meeting Gilliard. Jones told the police he remembered seeing a band-aid on Murphy's hand from a small cut, and that she may have bled on him, but that she never was in his car.

Later, Jones told Powers he could not remember at what time he was with Murphy. Next, Jones told Powers he was with Murphy sometime around 11 or 11:30 p.m. When Powers told Jones he could place Jones at a tavern until 12:30 a.m. or 1:00 a.m., Jones admitted he was with Murphy around 1:30 a.m. or 2:00 a.m., and that they had consensual sex in her living room. Jones said that when he left Murphy, she was cooking in her kitchen.

At that point, Detective Powers claims to have stopped the conversation so that he could call the state attorney's office. Detective Bishop stayed with Jones while Powers telephoned. The state attorney reportedly told Powers that there was no probable cause and that he and Bishop should leave. Powers claims to have told Jones that he and Bishop were leaving and would call with the test results. According to Powers, Jones asked to go with the detectives, afraid a lynch mob would get him. On the other hand, Jones says that Powers told him he was taking Jones to the Sheriff's Office as a suspect. Jones claims he thought he was being arrested, although Jones now acknowledges that at that time he was not placed under arrest. Powers and Bishop believed that they did not have probable cause at this point in their investigation.

Jones was not handcuffed, and sat in the front seat of the automobile on the way to the Sheriff's Office, with Bishop in back. Bishop claims he advised Jones of his Miranda rights on the way to the Sheriff's Office, but Jones denies ever receiving Miranda warnings.

B. Sheriff's Office Interview

At the Sheriff's Office, Powers, Bishop, and Jones went to an interview room. Jones was not under arrest. At one point someone came to the door, and Bishop left the room for approximately a minute, during which time Jones continued talking to Powers. Otherwise both Powers and Bishop were present during the interview.

Detective Powers states that during this interview Jones admitted killing Murphy. During the criminal trial and pre-trial depositions, Bishop and Powers testified that Jones confessed to killing Murphy. Powers says that Bishop asked Jones at the jail for a taped statement, but Jones declined. Bishop testified that he offered Jones the opportunity to have his statement tape recorded or to give a written statement, but Jones declined. The detectives did not type a written confession for Jones to sign.

Plaintiff Jones denies ever confessing. Jones claims he repeatedly told the detectives that he did not know what happened to Murphy and that when he left her, she was still alive. Although Jones thinks both officers were present during his denials, he acknowledges that they repeatedly entered and left the room.

When the interview at the Sheriff's Office concluded, Powers told Jones he was under arrest.

C. Police Report and Notes

As was the detectives' practice throughout the Murphy investigation, only one police report was filed regarding Jones's interview, although both detectives took handwritten notes. One officer would dictate the report and the other would review it. Detective Powers prepared and filed the report regarding the Jones interview. Bishop reviewed the report for accuracy, but did not prepare or sign it. Powers's typewritten report about the Jones interview is dated December 1, 1993. Powers shredded his handwritten notes after they were dictated onto report forms. Bishop's handwritten notes were likewise destroyed.

D. Request for Attorney

When Cindy Long, Jones's girlfriend, arrived at the police station, Jones was still being interviewed and had not yet been placed under arrest. Subsequently, one of the police officers told Long that Jones had confessed. Long and Jones spoke after Jones had been placed under arrest. During that conversation, Jones claims he asked Long to call his home and to get him an attorney. Powers allegedly told Long that Jones did not need a lawyer. When Long telephoned Jones's mother at Jones's direction to seek an attorney, Powers reportedly got on the telephone and told Jones's mother that no attorney was necessary. Powers told both Long and Mrs. Jones that Plaintiff had confessed.

According to Detective Powers, however, the first time Jones requested counsel was after Jones had been arrested and was being transported to jail.

E. Powers's Arrest Affidavit

After Powers told Jones he was under arrest, Powers and Bishop drove Jones back to his parents' home where Jones retrieved for the detectives the clothing he had worn the previous Friday night, the night the detectives believed Murphy was killed. The detectives then drove Jones to jail where he was booked. During the trip to jail, Jones told Powers and Bishop the name of the person he intended to hire as his defense attorney.

On the evening of Jones's arrest, Powers completed an affidavit, entitled "Arrest/Notice to Appear" (hereinafter, "arrest affidavit"). Jones was already under arrest and this affidavit was prepared for use at a hearing to determine the existence of probable cause for continuing to detain Jones. Powers completed the arrest affidavit, dated November 24, 1993, which stated that Jones had admitted the murder:

Your affiant being a duly sworn detective in and for Pasco County, did have occassion [sic] to investigate the murder of KATHARYN MURPHY. During your affiant's investigation, affiant learned that the defendant, JONATHAN DYE JONES, did enter the victim's residance [sic] and once inside did cause the death of KATHARYN MURPHY by committing murder in the first degree. Following Miranda Warning, the defendant did admit to said incident. The defendant was then booked into the Pasco County Jail at Land O' Lakes.

Powers prepared and filed the original affidavit for delivery to the Clerk of the Circuit Court to be reviewed by a judge the next morning to evaluate whether probable cause existed to continue to detain Jones and to aid in determining whether bond would be set and, if so, in what amount. According to Powers, the probable cause hearing was held on Thursday, November 25, 1993, although he did not testify. There is nothing else in the record regarding this hearing.

There is no evidence Bishop was present for or participated in the preparation of Powers's arrest affidavit.

F. Luminoled Boot Print

As part of the crime scene investigation, the inside of Murphy's bedroom was processed with luminol, a chemical spray which reveals blood patterns that would otherwise remain unseen. Positive reactions, appearing to be in the shape of a hand print and finger swipes, were observed on the interior walls of the closet and columns separating the openings. The crime scene was released from police control on November 23, 1993.

On Friday, November 26, 1993, two days after Jones's arrest, Detective Powers and a crime scene technician obtained a pair of Jones's work boots from Long's residence. On December 2, 1993, another luminol test was performed in Murphy's bedroom closet. This luminol test showed a positive finding in the shape of a boot print. The property receipt for the boots indicates their receipt on December 2, 1993.

G. Indictment

On December 13, 1993, a grand jury indicted Jones for the first degree murder and sexual assault of Katharyn Murphy. Powers testified before the grand jury, but...

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