McIntyre v. State, 41

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Citation526 A.2d 30,309 Md. 607
Docket NumberNo. 41,41
Parties, 56 USLW 2042 Patrick Shawn Edward McINTYRE v. STATE of Maryland. ,
Decision Date01 September 1986

Page 607

309 Md. 607
526 A.2d 30, 56 USLW 2042
Patrick Shawn Edward McINTYRE
STATE of Maryland.
No. 41, Sept. Term, 1986.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
June 4, 1987.

Page 608

Dennis H. Eisman of Philadelphia, Pa. (Alan L. Fishbein and Fishbein & Fishbein, P.A., on the brief), Ellicott City, for appellant.

Richard B. Rosenblatt, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Stephen H. Sachs, Atty. Gen., on the brief), Baltimore, for appellee.


Page 609

MURPHY, Chief Judge.

This case involves a fifteen-year-old juvenile who, following his arrest for rape, and after several requests to see his mother were denied, executed a written waiver of Miranda 1 rights and gave the police a [526 A.2d 31] statement pertaining to the alleged crime. The question presented is whether, in the circumstances, the juvenile's purported Miranda waiver was knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily made and if so, whether the ensuing statement, which was admitted into evidence at the trial, was voluntary in the traditional sense.


Patrick McIntyre, a fifteen-year-old tenth-grade student, was arrested and handcuffed by police at 7:00 a.m. on October 1, 1984, as he was on his way to school. As he was being transported to the Howard County Police Station by Detectives Witte and Myers, McIntyre was told that he had been arrested for the crime of rape. After the officers informed McIntyre of the alleged victim's name, they informed him of his Miranda rights, including his right to remain silent, to talk to a lawyer and to have the lawyer present during any police questioning. They also told him that a lawyer would be appointed to represent him, if he could not afford his own counsel, before any questions were asked. McIntyre said that he understood these rights. He then asked the detectives when he could see his mother. Myers explained that he could not see his mother at that time because he had been charged as an adult. No questions were asked of McIntyre during the journey to the police station.

At the station, the police again fully advised McIntyre of his Miranda rights, and again he said that he understood them. He again requested to see his mother, and his request was again denied. McIntyre thereafter executed a

Page 610

written form waiving his Miranda rights. At 7:55 a.m., he gave the police a statement concerning the alleged crime.

No pretrial motion to suppress the introduction of the Miranda waiver form or the ensuing statement was made. At the trial, Myers testified with respect to McIntyre's execution of the Miranda waiver form, volunteering that McIntyre had asked twice to see his mother before waiving his Miranda rights. When the State offered the waiver form into evidence, McIntyre's counsel objected. He said that he had not previously known of McIntyre's several requests to see his mother, and he claimed that the requests were "tantamount to a request for counsel, because that's how he would have gotten counsel." At McIntyre's request the court conducted a suppression hearing out of the presence of the jury "on the voluntariness, and whether he (McIntyre) was given the (Miranda ) warnings."

As it was the State's burden at the suppression hearing to prove voluntariness by a preponderance of the evidence ( see State v. Kidd, 281 Md. 32, 375 A.2d 1105, cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1002, 98 S.Ct. 646, 54 L.Ed.2d 498 (1977)), the prosecutor questioned Myers concerning McIntyre's waiver of Miranda rights. The detective testified that McIntyre appeared nervous but not frightened; that he was calm when his rights were read to him; that he did not appear "to be excited or flustered"; and that he said he understood his Miranda rights and would talk to the police. Myers testified that, while in the interview room at the police station, McIntyre asked for the second time "when he could see his mother", that it was "just a matter of fact question", and was not an "emotional request". As in his earlier testimony, Myers testified concerning his response to McIntyre's request to see his mother. He also testified that McIntyre was not under the influence of any intoxicants, did not appear to be ill or have any physical or mental infirmities, that he never asked to have an attorney present, and that no threats, promises or inducements were made to obtain McIntyre's waiver of Miranda rights.

Page 611

McIntyre did not testify at the suppression hearing and offered no evidence in support of his motion to suppress. In arguing for suppression, his counsel pointed out that McIntyre had been arrested on his way to school, that he was nervous when placed in the police car, that he was only fifteen years old, and that his two requests to see his mother had been denied. Counsel maintained that, in the circumstances, McIntyre "needed the opportunity to speak to his mother to secure counsel," and that juveniles ordinarily are afforded the right [526 A.2d 32] to have a parent present at the police station. McIntyre's counsel concluded his argument by saying, "That's what Miranda was designed to guard against, undue influence and overreaching by police in obtaining statements."

The court (Fischer, J.) denied the motion to suppress. It stated that "from hearing the evidence ... the statement was given voluntarily without any undue inducements, and ... the Miranda warnings were given." Additionally, the court said that it knew of no "right that a person has to have their mother present during the taking of any statement."

McIntyre's statement to the police was subsequently admitted in evidence. It was essentially exculpatory as he denied having committed the rape. The statement contained several admissions, however, that the State urged at trial constituted, along with other evidence, proof of McIntyre's guilt.

The jury convicted McIntyre of first degree rape, and he appealed. In an unreported opinion, the Court of Special Appeals rejected McIntyre's argument that the waiver of Miranda rights was invalid because he had been denied "counsel of a parent." It also found no merit in McIntyre's argument that his ensuing statement to the police was involuntary. Specifically, the intermediate appellate court held that, if a statement was otherwise voluntary, "the fact that the parent of the juvenile is not permitted to attend the interrogation has no bearing on the admissibility of the

Page 612

voluntary statement." We granted McIntyre's petition for certiorari which presented the single question:

"Where a fifteen year old is arrested and charged with a serious crime, is denial of access to a parent by the police prior to extracting a statement [from him] violative of both the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States as applied to Maryland under the Fourteenth Amendment."

In support of his position, McIntyre argues that juveniles subjected to custodial interrogation are in need of greater protection from constitutional violations than adults. He claims that such protection may be provided through the presence of a parent or adult friend whose guidance is needed to protect a juvenile's constitutional rights. He contends that his request to see his mother was tantamount to invoking his right to consult an attorney. Because these requests occurred immediately after receiving Miranda warnings, he maintains that the police should not have continued to question him, and consequently, the resulting statement was inadmissible. McIntyre relies upon cases from other states requiring the presence of an "interested" adult prior to a juvenile's waiver of constitutional rights.

Alternatively, McIntyre contends that the totality of the circumstances surrounding his arrest, waiver, and interrogation indicates that he did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his rights to silence and assistance of counsel. Because he was only fifteen years old, was denied access to his mother, and had no previous experience with the criminal justice system, McIntyre argues that the trial court should have found his waiver of Miranda rights to be invalid and suppressed his statement.


Under Miranda, in order "to use statements obtained during custodial interrogation of the accused, the State

Page 613

must warn the accused prior to such questioning of his right to remain silent and of his right to have counsel, retained or appointed, present during interrogation." Fare v. Michael C., 442 U.S. 707, 717, 99 S.Ct. 2560, 2568, 61 L.Ed.2d 197, reh'g denied, 444 U.S. 887, 100 S.Ct. 186, 62 L.Ed.2d 121 (1979). Once Miranda 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.... If the individual states [526 A.2d 33] that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to have him present during any subsequent questioning. If the individual cannot obtain an attorney and he indicates that he wants one before speaking to the police, they must respect his decision to remain silent."

Miranda, supra, 384 U.S. at 473-74, 86 S.Ct. at 1627-28.

Miranda was based, the Supreme Court has said, on its perception "that the lawyer occupies a critical position in our legal system because of his unique ability to protect the Fifth Amendment rights of a client undergoing custodial interrogation." Fare, supra, 442 U.S. at 719, 99 S.Ct. at 2568-69. The Court explained that

"[t]he per se aspect of Miranda was thus based on the unique role the lawyer plays in the adversary system of criminal justice in this country....

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