People v. Raibon, No. 89CA1126

Docket NºNo. 89CA1126
Citation843 P.2d 46
Case DateJune 04, 1992
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

Page 46

843 P.2d 46
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Elliot Javay RAIBON, a/k/a Hollywood, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 89CA1126.
Colorado Court of Appeals,
Div. IV.
June 4, 1992.
Rehearing Denied Aug. 6, 1992.
Certiorari Denied Jan. 11, 1993.

Page 48

Gale A. Norton, Atty. Gen., Raymond T. Slaughter, Chief Deputy Atty. Gen., Timothy M. Tymkovich, Sol. Gen., Timothy R. Twining, Asst. Atty. Gen., Denver, for plaintiff-appellee.

David F. Vela, Colorado State Public Defender, Andrew C. Heher, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, for defendant-appellant.

Opinion by Judge CRISWELL.

Defendant, Elliot J. Raibon, appeals from the judgment of conviction entered on a jury verdict finding him guilty of first degree murder. We affirm.

The defendant was a member of the "Crips" street gang. On the day of the killing, defendant and four other Crips gang members were driving in a residential neighborhood looking for members of the rival "Bloods" gang.

Late that evening, defendant saw a young man on a bicycle who was wearing a red baseball cap. Because red is the color adopted by the Bloods street gang, defendant assumed that this young man was a member of that gang.

He was not. Rather, he was simply a young university student on his way home from visiting his girlfriend.

After passing the student, defendant jumped out of the car and ran towards him. According to the testimony by the prosecution's witnesses, defendant shot the victim several times. The victim, however, managed to get up and started wrestling with the defendant. During this time, he was pleading for help and telling defendant that he was not a gang member. When defendant managed to disentangle himself from the victim, he shot the victim in the head, producing a fatal wound.

I.

Defendant first asserts that the trial court erred by refusing to suppress statements made by him during an in-custody interrogation and by refusing to allow his parents to testify as to their recollection of the interrogation session. We disagree with both these contentions.

A.

Defendant argues that the investigators' failure to videotape or audiotape his initial interview violated his rights under the due process clause of the Colorado Constitution, Colo. Const. art. II, § 25. We disagree.

When defendant, then 17 years old, was arrested, he was taken to the police station for interrogation. After his parents were notified and arrived at the jail, the police began to interrogate him. No verbatim record of this interrogation session was made.

The sole support for defendant's claim that this failure violated his right to due process rests upon two Alaska Supreme Court decisions. Both of these decisions, Stephan v. State, 711 P.2d 1156 (Alaska 1985) and Mallott v. State, 608 P.2d 737

Page 49

(Alaska 1980), declared that the failure to record an interrogation session constituted a violation of the due process clause of the Alaska Constitution.

However, this view is not generally accepted. Although some state legislatures have adopted statutes mandating the recording of such statements, the majority of state courts which have considered this issue in response to a claim of a state constitutional violation have specifically rejected the Alaska court's conclusion. See State v. Rhoades, 119 Idaho 594, 809 P.2d 455 (1991); Jimenez v. State, 105 Nev. 337, 775 P.2d 694 (1989); State v. Gorton, 149 Vt. 602, 548 A.2d 419 (1988); and Williams v. State, 522 So.2d 201 (Miss.1988). In declining to interpret the Vermont Constitution as requiring that all interrogation sessions be recorded, the Vermont Supreme Court, in State v. Gorton, supra, concluded that, absent state legislation supplementing the rights set forth in the Vermont Constitution, it would not by "judicial fiat" prescribe such a requirement. We find that analysis appropriate here.

Further, while not considered in a constitutional context as such, this court has previously concluded that the prosecution is under no duty to reduce to writing statements made during the course of an interview with a witness. People v. Graham, 678 P.2d 1043 (Colo.App.1983), cert. denied, 467 U.S. 1216, 104 S.Ct. 2660, 81 L.Ed.2d 366 (1984); People v. Garcia, 627 P.2d 255 (Colo.App.1980).

We recognize that the recording of an interview with either a suspect or a witness, either by audiotape or otherwise, may remove some questions that may later arise with respect to the contents of that interview. For that reason, it may well be better investigative practice to make such a precise record of any interview as the circumstances may permit. We decline, however, to mold our particular view of better practice into a constitutional mandate which would restrict the actions of law enforcement agents in all cases.

B.

Defendant also argues that the trial court erred in not allowing his parents to impeach the detectives' testimony describing inculpatory statements made by defendant during his interrogation. He further contends that § 19-2-102(3)(c)(I), C.R.S. (1986 Repl.Vol. 8B), now codified as § 19-2-210(1), C.R.S. (1991 Cum.Supp.), tacitly requires that parents, irrespective of the rules of evidence, be permitted to testify with respect to all statements made by their child during an interrogation at which they were present. We reject both these arguments.

When defendant was initially arrested, the police notified his parents, and they were present during his later interrogation. The detectives testified that, on two occasions, defendant said that he "shot" the victim, but later corrected himself by saying that he had "shot at" the victim. The parents, on the other hand, did not recall defendant ever saying that he "shot" the victim, but rather, recalled him saying that, while he had a gun at the time of the confrontation with the victim, he had merely fired the gun in the air.

The People sought an in limine order that the parents could not refer to any statements made by the defendant during the interrogation session. While defendant complains that the trial court erred in granting the People's motion, the record shows that the trial court did not grant that motion, but rather refused to rule upon the issue in advance of the trial.

In addressing the motion, the court generally noted that, if the parents' testimony contradicted the detectives' testimony regarding defendant's alleged inculpatory statements, such testimony would be admissible as independent impeachment evidence. The trial court also suggested, however, that, if the parents sought to testify as to other statements made by the defendant, such statements, to be admissible, would have to fall within one of the exceptions to the hearsay rule. The trial court then specifically reserved its decision upon any particular testimony until such testimony was actually offered.

The record also demonstrates that the trial court did not, in fact, exclude any

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of the parents' testimony. Despite the fact that the trial court had remarked generally that any testimony contradictory to that of the detectives would be admissible, the defendant did not attempt to elicit any such testimony from the parents at trial. Hence, defendant cannot predicate a claim of error upon the exclusion of testimony when such testimony was neither offered nor rejected. See generally People v. Aragon, 653 P.2d 715 (Colo.1982) (defendant cannot assert invalidity of statute if he does not offer evidence showing its applicability to him).

We also reject defendant's argument that § 19-2-210(1) allows a juvenile's parents to testify about everything said during an investigatory interrogation, irrespective of its inculpatory or exculpatory nature. This statute bars the admission...

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28 practice notes
  • State v. Kilmer, No. 21504
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 10 Diciembre 1993
    ...clause in various state constitutions do not require that custodial interrogations be electronically recorded. See People v. Raibon, 843 P.2d 46, 49 (Colo.App.1992); Coleman v. State, 189 Ga.App. 366, 375 S.E.2d 663, 664 (1988); State v. Rhoades, 121 Idaho 63, 73, 822 P.2d 960, 970 (1991), ......
  • State Of Conn. v. Lockhart., No. 17773.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 12 Octubre 2010
    ...(Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Godsey, 60 S.W.3d 759, 772 (Tenn.2001); see also People v. Raibon, 843 P.2d 46, 49 (Colo.App.1992) (“[w]e decline ... to mold our particular view of better practice into a constitutional mandate which would restrict the actions......
  • Clark v. State, No. CR 07-1276.
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • 25 Septiembre 2008
    ...619, 63 Cal.Rptr.2d 782, 937 P.2d 213 (1997), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 1017, 118 S.Ct. 606, 139 L.Ed.2d 493 (1997); People v. Raibon, 843 P.2d 46 (Colo.Ct.App.1992); State v. James, 237 Conn. 390, 678 A.2d 1338 (1996); Coleman v. State, 189 Ga. App. 366, 375 S.E.2d 663 (1988); State v. Kekona......
  • Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 6 Abril 2004
    ...fact finder a complete version of precisely what the defendant did (or did not) say in any statement or confession. See People v. Raibon, 843 P.2d 46, 49 (Colo. Ct. App. 1992); State v. James, 237 Conn. 390, 432, 434 (1996); State v. Kekona, 77 Haw. 403, 409 (1994); Stoker v. State, 692 N.E......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • State v. Kilmer, No. 21504
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 10 Diciembre 1993
    ...clause in various state constitutions do not require that custodial interrogations be electronically recorded. See People v. Raibon, 843 P.2d 46, 49 (Colo.App.1992); Coleman v. State, 189 Ga.App. 366, 375 S.E.2d 663, 664 (1988); State v. Rhoades, 121 Idaho 63, 73, 822 P.2d 960, 970 (1991), ......
  • State Of Conn. v. Lockhart., No. 17773.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 12 Octubre 2010
    ...(Citations omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Godsey, 60 S.W.3d 759, 772 (Tenn.2001); see also People v. Raibon, 843 P.2d 46, 49 (Colo.App.1992) (“[w]e decline ... to mold our particular view of better practice into a constitutional mandate which would restrict the actions......
  • Clark v. State, No. CR 07-1276.
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • 25 Septiembre 2008
    ...619, 63 Cal.Rptr.2d 782, 937 P.2d 213 (1997), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 1017, 118 S.Ct. 606, 139 L.Ed.2d 493 (1997); People v. Raibon, 843 P.2d 46 (Colo.Ct.App.1992); State v. James, 237 Conn. 390, 678 A.2d 1338 (1996); Coleman v. State, 189 Ga. App. 366, 375 S.E.2d 663 (1988); State v. Kekona......
  • Commonwealth v. DiGiambattista
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 6 Abril 2004
    ...fact finder a complete version of precisely what the defendant did (or did not) say in any statement or confession. See People v. Raibon, 843 P.2d 46, 49 (Colo. Ct. App. 1992); State v. James, 237 Conn. 390, 432, 434 (1996); State v. Kekona, 77 Haw. 403, 409 (1994); Stoker v. State, 692 N.E......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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