Lane v. State, 675S146

Citation364 N.E.2d 756,266 Ind. 485
Decision Date12 July 1977
Docket NumberNo. 675S146,675S146
PartiesRichard Emerson LANE, Appellant (Defendant below), v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Jack Rogers, Franklin, Frank E. Spencer, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Charles M. Russell, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

HUNTER, Justice.

Richard Emerson Lane, the defendant, was charged with first degree murder and first degree murder in the commission of a robbery. After a trial by jury, he was convicted on both counts and was ultimately sentenced to life imprisonment on one count. The defendant filed a motion to correct errors and appeals to this Court, raising the following issues:

1.) Whether the defendant's statement was obtained after advisement of and a valid waiver of his constitutional rights; and

2.) Whether the testimony of the defendant's girlfriend should have been excluded as a confidential communication.

I.

A pre-trial motion sought the suppression of a statement made by the defendant and a rifle recovered through his aid. Evidence was submitted in a pre-trial hearing and the motion was denied. When the statement and the rifle were offered into evidence, the defendant objected. The objections were overruled and the evidence was admitted. The defendant contends that the statement should have been excluded from his trial on the grounds that it was given without an adequate advisement of his constitutional rights and without a valid waiver of his right to remain silent.

In Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, guidelines were established to protect an individual's constitutional privilege against compulsory self-incrimination. A statement made by an accused during custodial interrogation is not admissible over his objection, unless law enforcement officers give adequate and specified warnings to the accused before questioning, and the accused waives those rights. Michigan v. Mosley (1975), 423 U.S. 96, 96 S.Ct. 321, 46 L.Ed.2d 313. In order for an accused to effectively waive his privilege of silence and his right to an attorney, the waiver must be made voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently. Brown v. State (1971), 256 Ind. 558, 270 N.E.2d 751. Volunteered statements fall completely outside the scope of Miranda ; the safeguards erected by that holding are directed at protecting the accused from abuses of interrogation.

"There is no requirement that police stop a person who enters a police station and states that he wishes to confess to a crime . . .."

Miranda, supra, 384 U.S. at 478, 86 S.Ct. at 1630, 16 L.Ed.2d at 726. Volunteered statements are unaffected by Miranda because there can be no presumption of compulsion where there is no interrogation. An accused has a right to speak equal to his privilege of silence.

A corollary of an accused's right to remain silent is his right to cut off questioning.

"Once warnings have been given, the subsequent procedure is clear. If the individual indicates in any manner, at any time prior to or during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease. At this point, he has shown that he intends to exercise his Fifth Amendment privilege; any statement taken after the person invokes his privilege cannot be other than the product of compulsion, subtle or otherwise."

Miranda, supra, 384 U.S. at 473, 86 S.Ct. at 1627, 16 L.Ed.2d at 694. The admissibility of statements made by an accused after he has exercised his right to remain silent depends on whether his right to cut off questioning has been scrupulously honored. Michigan v. Mosely (1975), 423 U.S. 96, 96 S.Ct. 321, 46 L.Ed.2d 313; Mims v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 37, 262 N.E.2d 638.

The trial court heard evidence on the defendant's motion to suppress in a pre-trial hearing. Much of this evidence was conflicting. This Court may not re-weigh the evidence and disturb a trial court's finding based upon conflicting evidence. French v. State (1977), Ind., 362 N.E.2d 834. Substantial evidence in the record supports the following. Lane voluntarily gave himself up when he learned that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He was orally advised of his rights at least twice and was asked to read the waiver of rights form for himself. He appeared to read the form, stated that he understood his rights, and signed the form which was witnessed by two officers. He stated that he did not desire an attorney and that he did not wish to make a statement at that time. It also seems that upon inquiry, the defendant stated that he did not wish to speak to a Lt. Allen at that time, but also that the incident was bothering him. The investigating detective assigned to the case, Lt. Allen, was contacted and advised that Lane had given himself up. He was told that Lane had been advised of his constitutional rights and that he did not wish to make a statement at that time. Lt. Allen came to the jail, identified himself to Lane, and read the arrest warrant to him. When asked if he wanted an attorney, Lane replied that he did not. Allen then asked if Lane wanted to make a statement, and Lane replied, "Yes, I want to tell you all about it." The defendant then gave an oral statement which was reduced to writing by Lt. Allen and signed by the defendant. Lane then directed Lt. Allen to the location of the murder weapon. Much evidence was also adduced to establish that the defendant was of low average intelligence with poor reading comprehension.

This evidence adequately supports the trial court's determination that the safeguards protecting the defendant's privilege of silence were not transgressed. The defendant's rights were orally spelled out with clarity, and the defendant acknowledged that he understood those rights. This is unlike the situation in Dickerson v. State (...

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24 cases
  • Cobb v. State, 778S142
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 7, 1980
    ...supra, are properly admitted into evidence. Kennedy v. State, (1977) 267 Ind. 322, 325, 370 N.E.2d 331, 332; Lane v. State, (1977) 266 Ind. 485, 487-88, 364 N.E.2d 756, 758; Lockridge v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 678, 683, 338 N.E.2d 275, 279. See Rhode Island v. Innis, (1980) --- U.S. ----, 1......
  • Bergner v. State, 3-379A85
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 12, 1979
    ...167. The policy clearly restricts the privilege to communications made in the course of a legally recognized marriage. Lane v. State, (1977) 266 Ind. 485, 364 N.E.2d 756; Damrell v. State, (1976) Ind.App., 352 N.E.2d 855. However, as long as a communication is made within the course of a ma......
  • Mulry v. State, 2-877A306
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • January 21, 1980
    ...and that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. 384 U.S. at 444, 86 S.Ct. 1602; Lane v. State, (1977) 266 Ind. 485, 364 N.E.2d 756. Miranda further requires, before a statement made by defendant under circumstances requiring the warnings may be admitt......
  • Owen v. State, PS
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 2, 1978
    ...court on appeal cannot reweigh conflicting evidence upon which a trial court based its findings on a motion to suppress. Lane v. State, (1977) Ind., 364 N.E.2d 756, 759. Insofar as appellant claims that advisement of Fourth Amendment rights prior to a consent search is constitutionally nece......
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