People v. Dyla

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Writing for the CourtBefore MANGANO; BRACKEN; MANGANO
Citation536 N.Y.S.2d 799,142 A.D.2d 423
PartiesThe PEOPLE, etc., Respondent, v. Willie DYLA, Appellant.
Decision Date30 December 1988

Page 799

536 N.Y.S.2d 799
142 A.D.2d 423
The PEOPLE, etc., Respondent,
Willie DYLA, Appellant.
Supreme Court, Appellate Division,
Second Department.
Dec. 30, 1988.

Page 800

Andrew F. Plasse, Baldwinsville, for appellant.

Willie Dyla, pro se.

Denis Dillon, Dist. Atty., Mineola (Anthony J. Girese and Bruce E. Whitney, of counsel), for respondent.


BRACKEN, Justice.

The defendant, Willie Dyla, committed a murder while released from prison on parole. He now claims that the confession that he made to Nassau County homicide

Page 801

detectives must be suppressed because it was preceded by an illegal arrest. We hold that the arrest of Dyla by a parole officer was based upon probable cause to believe that Dyla had violated certain conditions of parole, and that even if the arrest must be considered illegal because no parole violation warrant had been issued (see, Executive Law § 259-i 9 NYCRR 8004.2), it did not amount to an unreasonable seizure and did not violate any of Dyla's constitutional rights, so that exclusion of the confession is not an appropriate remedy. We also find that, even assuming that the illegality of the arrest was of such a magnitude as to warrant the application of the exclusionary rule, any taint caused by the arrest had dissipated prior to Dyla's confession. The County Court was therefore correct in denying Dyla's motion to suppress. There being no merit to the remainder of Dyla's contentions, the judgment of conviction should be affirmed.

After a trial by jury, at which his confession to police was admitted into evidence against him, Dyla was found guilty of the murder of Valerie Abney. The victim died as the result of asphyxiation due to strangulation on March 28, 1982. The evidence adduced at trial established beyond any reasonable doubt that during the course of his burglary of the victim's apartment Dyla caused the victim's death by gagging her and placing a belt around her neck.

Detectives Gary Abbondandelo and Robert Dempsey, both members of the Nassau County Homicide Squad, were assigned to conduct an investigation shortly after the discovery of the victim's body on March 29, 1982. Abbondandelo learned from another detective that Dyla was known to have been a friend of the victim. On March 31 Abbondandelo went to 46 Elm Avenue, Dyla's residence, and left his card with one of Dyla's neighbors. At 9:25 A.M. the following day, April 1, Dyla telephoned Detective Abbondandelo and agreed to meet with him at police headquarters in Mineola on April 2. However, Dyla failed to keep that appointment.

Further investigation revealed that Dyla had been on parole at the time of the murder. On April 2, 1982, Detective-Sergeant Kenney informed Dyla's parole officer, Robert Burford, that Dyla was wanted for questioning in connection with a homicide investigation, and that Dyla had been contacted by Abbondandelo on April 1. Dyla's failure to inform Burford of this contact constituted a violation of one of the conditions of his parole.

Detective Dempsey met with Burford on April 3 and informed Burford that the police had been unsuccessful in locating Dyla at 46 Elm Street, his last known address. The police had learned from Dyla's former paramour that Dyla had left that address, and that his whereabouts were unknown. On April 7, Dyla's mother was contacted and stated that she too was unaware of Dyla's whereabouts.

On April 8, Dyla telephoned Burford and informed him that he had entered a residential drug program in New York City. Dyla was instructed to report to the parole office in Hempstead on April 12. Burford then informed Lieutenant Spillane of the Nassau County Homicide Squad that Dyla was due to report to the parole office in Hempstead on April 12.

Dyla arrived at the parole office in the company of a companion at 10:15 A.M. on April 12. Burford interviewed Dyla for several minutes concerning his change of address and change in drug treatment programs. After it became apparent that Dyla was persisting in his failure to admit that he had had contact with the police, Burford decided to arrest him for a violation of parole. Dyla was then handcuffed to a chair. It is clear that Burford had not, as of that time, obtained a parole violation warrant.

Detectives Abbondandelo and Dempsey arrived at Burford's office at approximately 11:00 A.M. The handcuffs were removed as soon as the detectives arrived, although it is not clear whether Abbondandelo asked Burford to remove them. Abbondandelo informed both Dyla and Burford that Dyla was not being placed under arrest for the homicide. However, Dyla

Page 802

was requested to accompany the detectives to police headquarters in Mineola for questioning. Dyla agreed to go, and his companion was allowed to accompany them. It is important to note that Burford testified that he would not have allowed Dyla to leave his office if Dyla had refused to cooperate with the police.

At police headquarters, Dyla was questioned about the Abney homicide, and initially gave an exculpatory account of his whereabouts on March 28. Dyla then agreed to take a polygraph test. At approximately 12:50 P.M. Dyla was introduced to Detective Sergeant Edward Goutink, the polygraph examiner, who informed Dyla of his Miranda rights, and who also told Dyla that the results of the polygraph test were not admissible as evidence. Goutink emphasized, however, that any incriminating statements made during the test could be admitted into evidence. Dyla submitted to the polygraph test after a knowing and voluntary waiver of his rights.

At the conclusion of the test, Detective Goutink informed Dyla that he "was absolutely convinced after analyzing the charts that he had lied * * * and that, in fact, he had killed Valerie Abney". Goutink then engaged Dyla in an hour-long conversation which centered on the beneficial consequences that flow from one's confrontation with and admission of guilt.

At approximately 5:00 P.M., Detectives Abbondandelo and Dempsey were informed by Goutink that Dyla had failed the polygraph test. Dyla was then taken back to the Homicide Squad office. Dyla was again read his Miranda rights, which he again waived. Abbondandelo reminded Dyla that he had failed the polygraph and that Goutink's opinion was that he was involved in the murder of Valerie Abney. The two detectives then resumed their questioning of the defendant.

During this portion of the interrogation, Abbondandelo discussed Dyla's "drug problem" with him. Dempsey then began to talk about Dyla's "family problems", with Dyla keeping his head down and looking at the floor. Dempsey then asked Dyla to look into his eyes, and, at approximately 6:25 P.M., Dyla raised his head, began to sob, and said "yes, man, I did it, I killed her".


After having made subsequent and more elaborate confessions, both oral and in writing, Dyla was formally arrested and charged with the murder of Valerie Abney. He was later indicted by a Nassau County Grand Jury for murder in the second degree (three counts), robbery in the first degree, and burglary in the first degree.

Dyla made several pretrial motions, two of which (a motion dated July 13, 1982, and a pro se motion dated May 2, 1982) contained applications for the suppression of his statements to police. It was argued in the affidavits supporting these motions that "Dyla was arrested without probable cause and that any statements and evidence subsequent to this improper arrest must be suppressed".

After a pretrial hearing, the County Court, in a decision entered February 2, 1984, denied Dyla's motions for the suppression of the statements. In its decision, the County Court found, among other things, that when Parole Officer Burford handcuffed Dyla to the chair in the parole office on April 12, 1982, he had not as yet made a decision as to whether to revoke Dyla's parole 1. The court found that it was for this reason that no parole violation warrant had been obtained. The court further concluded that, although Dyla had been placed in custody when he was handcuffed (cf., People v. Tirado, 69 N.Y.2d 863, 514 N.Y.S.2d 713, 507 N.E.2d 306, on remand 117 A.D.2d 874, 498 N.Y.S.2d 589;

Page 803

People v. Brnja, 50 N.Y.2d 366, 372, 429 N.Y.S.2d 173, 406 N.E.2d 1066), he was in effect released from custody when he agreed to leave with the police. Thus, the court held that Dyla's right to be free from unreasonable seizures (U.S. Const. 4th Amend., 14th Amend.; N.Y. Const., art. I, § 12) had not been violated.

At Dyla's first trial, the court dismissed the robbery count, and the jury was unable to reach a verdict as to the remaining counts submitted to them. Dyla was retried and was found guilty of three counts of murder in the second degree, and burglary in the first degree. On May 16, 1984, Dyla was sentenced to concurrent sentences of 25 years to life for the three murder counts and of 6 to 12 years for the burglary count. This appeal followed.


Dyla argues that he was illegally arrested by Parole Officer Burford on April 12, 1982, because no parole violation warrant had been obtained pursuant to the applicable law (Executive Law § 259-i 9 NYCRR 8004.2). From this premise, Dyla concludes that his subsequent confession must be suppressed as the "fruit" of an illegal arrest (see, Taylor v. Alabama, 457 U.S. 687, 102 S.Ct. 2664, 73 L.Ed.2d 314; Rawlings v. Kentucky, 448 U.S. 98, 100 S.Ct. 2556, 65 L.Ed.2d 633; Dunaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 206-211, 99 S.Ct. 2248, 2253-2256, 60 L.Ed.2d 824; Brown v. Illinois, 422 U.S. 590, 597-599, 95 S.Ct. 2254, 2258-2260, 45 L.Ed.2d 416; Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 479-486, 83 S.Ct. 407, 412-417, 9 L.Ed.2d 441; People v. Rogers, 52 N.Y.2d 527, 532-533, 439 N.Y.S.2d 96, 421 N.E.2d 491, cert. denied 454 U.S. 898, 102 S.Ct. 399, 70 L.Ed.2d 214, reh. denied 459 U.S. 898, 103 S.Ct. 199, 74 L.Ed.2d 160).

There are at least two flaws in this argument....

To continue reading

Request your trial
41 cases
  • People v. Cameron
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 2 Octubre 1995
    ...Rogers, 52 N.Y.2d 527, 439 N.Y.S.2d 96, 421 N.E.2d 491 [1981], cert. denied 454 U.S. 898, 102 S.Ct. 399, 70 L.Ed.2d 214; People v. Dyla, 142 A.D.2d 423, 430, 536 N.Y.S.2d 799 [2nd Dept.1988], lv. denied 74 N.Y.2d 808, 546 N.Y.S.2d 566, 545 N.E.2d 880; cf. Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S.......
  • Alvarez v. Annucci, 50 SSM 35
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • 22 Marzo 2022
    ...their term, under supervision, and who are allowed to remain outside the penal institution only on stated conditions" ( People v. Dyla, 142 A.D.2d 423, 439, 536 N.Y.S.2d 799 [2d Dept. 1988] ). Parole thus provides a means for early release. PRS, by contrast, provides a means for "reintegrat......
  • State v. Gadsden
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • 4 Agosto 1997 but not Page 505 violative of constitutional rights); State v. Eubanks, 283 N.C. 556, 196 S.E.2d 706, 708-10 (1973); People v. Dyla, 142 A.D.2d 423, 536 N.Y.S.2d 799, 809 (1988), appeal denied, 74 N.Y.2d 808, 546 N.Y.S.2d 566, 545 N.E.2d 880 We agree with the trend in these states. We c......
  • People v. Lewis, A083095
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 25 Agosto 1999
    ...F.2d 60; Smith v. State (Ark.App.1981) 1 Ark.App. 241, 614 S.W.2d 527; State v. Bass (La.App.1992) 595 So.2d 820; People v. Dyla (1988) 142 A.D.2d 423, 536 N.Y.S.2d 799; State v. Thompson (1987) 33 Ohio St.3d 1, 514 N.E.2d 407; State v. Maestas (Utah App.1991) 815 P.2d 1319; State v. Pittma......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT