Madrid v. State, No. 95-9

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtBefore GOLDEN; LEHMAN
Citation910 P.2d 1340
Docket NumberNo. 95-9
Decision Date31 January 1996
PartiesVictor MADRID, Appellant (Defendant), v. The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).

Page 1340

910 P.2d 1340
Victor MADRID, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).
No. 95-9.
Supreme Court of Wyoming.
Jan. 31, 1996.

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

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

LEHMAN, Justice.

Victor Madrid (Madrid) appeals the judgment and sentence of the district court convicting him of one count of felony murder in violation of W.S. 6-2-101 and sentencing him to a term of life imprisonment in the Wyoming State Penitentiary.

We affirm.

ISSUES

Madrid submits the following issues for our review:

I. Did forcing Victor [Madrid] to defend pro se against a seasoned prosecutor at his detention hearing violate his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments' right to counsel, as well as Article 1, § 6 and § 10 of the Wyoming Constitution, and Rule 44, W.R.Cr.P.?

II. Did denying Victor's [Madrid's] right to subpoena his only accuser as a relevant witness at his preliminary hearing violate his right to compulsory service under his Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, his right to confront adverse witnesses under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, Article 1, § 10 of the Wyoming Constitution, Rule 5.1(b), W.R.Cr.P., and Garcia v. State, 667 P.2d 1148 (Wyo.1983)?

III. Was the participation by the District Attorney in preventing the defense from interviewing the government's star witness a violation of the Wyoming Constitution's Article 1, § 6 Due Process by violating fundamental fairness and interfering with the administration of justice?

IV. Were the statements given to the police and admitted into evidence at trial, made voluntarily when viewed in the context of police testimony that they intentionally deceived Victor [Madrid] into making his statement?

V. Did the refusal by the trial court to allow the defense to introduce testimony of "False Confession Syndrome" or "False Memory Syndrome" violate Victor's [Madrid's] right to present a defense?

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VI. Did the trial court abuse its discretion when it allowed an unsequestered witness to testify on a critical issue?

VII. Did the court violate Victor's [Madrid's] due process and abuse its discretion when it refused Defense Instruction A?

VIII. Did the government violate Victor's [Madrid's] right against self-incrimination under the 5th Amendment and Wyoming Constitution's Article 1, § 11 when it held him incommunicado for three days of interrogation even though he had an attorney for an unrelated criminal charge?

The State rephrases the issues as:

I. Did the county court commit reversible error by conducting Appellant's detention hearing in the absence of counsel?

II. Did the State inhibit Appellant's access to a material witness?

III. Did the District Court err by not suppressing the statements Appellant made to law enforcement?

IV. Did the District Court abuse its discretion by permitting an unsequestered witness to testify, refusing Appellant's proffered jury instruction and disallowing expert testimony on "false confession syndrome" or "false memory syndrome."[?]

FACTS

On November 30, 1993, Velma Filener was murdered during a burglary of the home belonging to a friend with whom she was staying. Ms. Filener died as the result of seventeen knife wounds. For several weeks the Casper Police Department conducted an investigation of the burglary and murder, but they were unable to identify any suspects.

One month later, on December 23, 1993, the police responded to a medical assist call involving an apparent drug overdose by Madrid. Upon arrival, the officer learned that Madrid had made statements relating to delusional dreams he had been having in which he saw himself killing an elderly lady, stabbing her with a knife seven times, with blood on his hands and being chased by a "red demon." The officer relayed this information to the detective involved in the Filener investigation. Detectives then interviewed Madrid at the hospital. Madrid recounted his "dreams," giving details about the burglary and the murder. Madrid was immediately placed under police hold at the hospital--based upon a failure to appear for sentencing on an earlier, unrelated burglary conviction--and upon his release from the hospital was transported to the Natrona County Detention Center.

For two days Madrid was again interviewed at the detention center and was more forthcoming with details about the burglary and murder. However on the third day, Madrid informed the detectives that he no longer wished to talk to them without an attorney. Madrid was officially charged with the murder of Ms. Filener on December 30, 1993, and, following a jury trial, was convicted of felony murder. Madrid timely appeals.

DISCUSSION

I. Right to counsel at the detention hearing

Madrid argues that his constitutional right to counsel was violated when he was not afforded counsel at his initial detention hearing wherein the State requested that the court hold Madrid in custody, reasoning Madrid was a serious flight risk due to the fact that he had failed to appear for sentencing on an earlier burglary conviction; he was charged with first degree murder; he was unemployed; and he had no real or personal property of value in Wyoming. Madrid alleges violations of the Wyoming Constitution, the Federal Constitution pursuant to the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, and the Wyoming Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Madrid was represented by counsel at his district court arraignment. The court offered to reconsider the issue of bond, however, Madrid declined to be heard on the matter. "In order for a claimed error to be regarded as harmful, there must be a reasonable probability that, but for the error, the verdict would have been more favorable to the defendant." Talbott v. State, 902 P.2d 719, 721, (Wyo.1995); see also Stephens v. State, 774 P.2d 60, 67 (Wyo.1989); Zabel v. State, 765 P.2d 357, 362 (Wyo.1988). Madrid has failed to establish that not having an appointed attorney at his detention hearing

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prejudiced the verdict against him. Accordingly, we can find no reasonable probability that the verdict would have been more favorable to him and thus find no reversible error.

II. Accused's right to have access to the State's witnesses

Madrid argues that the State inhibited his right to interview one of the State's key witnesses, a juvenile; that the State moved to quash his subpoena to call the witness at the preliminary hearing; that the State conspired with the Wyoming Girls' School to deny Madrid access to interview the witness; and that the State specifically requested the witness not to speak with Madrid's counsel.

Rule 5.1(b), W.R.Cr.P., provides an accused the right to subpoena and call witnesses during his preliminary hearing, but this right is not absolute. Garcia v. State, 667 P.2d 1148, 1154 (Wyo.1983). This right must be viewed in light of the true constitutional purpose of the preliminary hearing, which is to obtain a determination by a neutral, detached fact finder that there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed it. Id. And although some discovery is the inevitable by-product of a preliminary hearing, discovery is not the purpose of the hearing. Id. Thus, discretion is left to the court to determine whether or not the purpose for which a defendant seeks to introduce testimony from a witness whom he has subpoenaed fits within the realm of discovery rather than the determination of probable cause. Id. To this end, we have stated that it is incumbent upon counsel to explain the relevance to the issue of probable cause of the testimony he seeks to introduce at the preliminary hearing, pursuant to a sufficient offer of proof. Id., at 1155.

After careful review of the record, we find no evidence that Madrid subpoenaed the witness for the preliminary hearing, nor that the State moved to quash such a subpoena. The preliminary hearing was held on January 11, 1994; and the record, pursuant to an affidavit, establishes that detectives of the Casper Police Department did not interview this witness until April 28, 1994. Madrid provides no record support to show that a subpoena was executed or quashed; likewise, Madrid provides no record citation establishing his offer of proof that sufficiently explains the relevance to the issue of probable cause of the testimony of the witness. In fact, in his brief on appeal, Madrid acknowledges that he wished to call the witness as a witness at the preliminary hearing because...

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36 practice notes
  • Bhutto v. State, No. 04-89.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 13, 2005
    ...statements must result from "free and deliberate choice rather than intimidation, coercion, or deception." Madrid v. State, 910 P.2d 1340, 1344 (Wyo.1996). Because we presume a defendant's 114 P.3d 1259 statements to be involuntary, the burden rests on the State to show, by a prep......
  • Ortiz v. State, No. S–13–0127.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • May 8, 2014
    ...trial court's ruling on the matter. Id. [¶ 93] Determining probable cause is the purpose of the preliminary hearing. See Madrid v. State, 910 P.2d 1340, 1343 (Wyo.1996). Wyoming Rule of Criminal Procedure 5.1(b) states, “[i]f from the evidence it appears that there is probable cause to beli......
  • Duke v. State, No. 02-270.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 25, 2004
    ...and is speculative at best. This Court will not presume the truth of allegations that are not supported by the record. Madrid v. State, 910 P.2d 1340, 1343 (Wyo.1996). In his argument, Duke assumes that counsel did not investigate or interview the witnesses because counsel appeared to meet ......
  • Yellowbear v. State, No. 06-246.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • January 14, 2008
    ...whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed that crime. Madrid v. State, 910 P.2d 1340, 1343 (Wyo.1996). The circuit court is without authority to transfer to the district court charges other than those contained in the charging doc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
36 cases
  • Pena v. State, No. 03-13.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 6, 2004
    ...defendant's statements must result from "free and deliberate choice rather than intimidation, coercion, or deception." Madrid v. State, 910 P.2d 1340, 1344 (Wyo.1996). Because we presume a defendant's statements to be involuntary, the burden rests on the State to show, by a preponderance of......
  • Barkell v. Crouse, No. 05-8045.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • November 7, 2006
    ...this assertion. We have consistently held that we will not consider claims unsupported by cogent argument and authority. Madrid v. State, 910 P.2d 1340, 1347 994 P.2d at 930-31. This discussion would have given Mr. Barkell no guidance regarding what was missing from his pleadings that would......
  • Ortiz v. State, No. S–13–0127.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • May 8, 2014
    ...trial court's ruling on the matter. Id. [¶ 93] Determining probable cause is the purpose of the preliminary hearing. See Madrid v. State, 910 P.2d 1340, 1343 (Wyo.1996). Wyoming Rule of Criminal Procedure 5.1(b) states, “[i]f from the evidence it appears that there is probable cause to beli......
  • Duke v. State, No. 02-270.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • October 25, 2004
    ...and is speculative at best. This Court will not presume the truth of allegations that are not supported by the record. Madrid v. State, 910 P.2d 1340, 1343 (Wyo.1996). In his argument, Duke assumes that counsel did not investigate or interview the witnesses because counsel appeared to meet ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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