Pierce v. State, No. 49S00-0011-CR-710.

Docket NºNo. 49S00-0011-CR-710.
Citation761 N.E.2d 826
Case DateJanuary 29, 2002
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

761 N.E.2d 826

Ronald PIERCE, Appellant (Defendant Below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below)

No. 49S00-0011-CR-710.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

January 29, 2002.


761 N.E.2d 827
Susan D. Rayl, Indianapolis, IN, for Appellant

Steve Carter, Attorney General of Indiana, Monika Prekopa Talbot, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, for Appellee.

BOEHM, Justice.

Ronald Pierce was convicted of burglary, rape, criminal deviate conduct, robbery, confinement, and being a habitual offender. In this direct appeal, he contends that: (1) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting his confession; (2) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting testimony that Pierce masturbated while he confessed; and (3) Pierce's convictions for burglary and robbery violate the Indiana Double Jeopardy Clause. We remand to the trial court with instructions to reduce the robbery conviction to a Class C felony and otherwise affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Factual and Procedural Background

On the morning of July 13, 1999, the victim was writing a note to the UPS man with her door open when a suspicious man approached her home. She attempted to shut the door, but the man, Pierce, had

761 N.E.2d 828
already entered her home. The victim screamed at Pierce to leave the house and attempted to flee. He chased her, the two scuffled, and Pierce ultimately forcibly inserted his fingers in the victim's vagina. Pierce then demanded money and the victim gave him twelve dollars, which was all the money she had in her purse. Pierce forcibly raped the victim and then requested more money. After the victim sent Pierce upstairs, she attempted to call 911. Pierce returned, took the phone, then became nervous and fled

At the hospital, an examination revealed a variety of cuts and scrapes, bruises on the victim's shoulders, forearms, and lips, and tears in her vaginal area. Pierce was arrested in an unrelated case1 and, while being questioned in that case, confessed to this crime. He was convicted of burglary, rape, criminal deviate conduct, robbery, and confinement, and found to be a habitual offender. Pierce was sentenced to fifty years for burglary, enhanced by thirty years for the habitual offender enhancement, to be served consecutively with twenty years for robbery. Sentences on the remainder of the convictions were to be served concurrently.

I. Pierce's Confession

Pierce first challenges the admission of his confession, claiming that police deception rendered it involuntary. Specifically, he contends that a police officer, Detective Frazier, lied to him about a preliminary DNA match in the other investigation and this caused him to confess to both this crime and the other crime.

The decision to admit Pierce's statement is a matter of discretion of the trial court after considering the totality of the circumstances. Ellis v. State, 707 N.E.2d 797, 801 (Ind.1999). In reviewing a trial court's ruling as to the voluntariness of a confession, "we examine the record for substantial, probative evidence of voluntariness; we do not reweigh the evidence." Horan v. State, 682 N.E.2d 502, 510 (Ind.1997).

Pierce's taped statement was given after an officer informed Pierce of his Miranda rights and Pierce signed a waiver form. Pierce's taped interview lasted two and one-half hours. The trial court ruled:

[B]ased on the record that I have in front of me, and taking the statements as offers to prove, I find that this court in a different case has already ruled upon all of these issues after a thorough hearing, and the fact that this is an effort to suppress a statement that the alleged falsehoods did not actually pertain to, I think the original ruling of this court was accurate, and I am again going to deny the motion to suppress the Defendant's statements to the investigators during his custodial interrogation.

The determination that Pierce's statement should be admitted is supported by substantial evidence and is consistent with precedent.

Pierce makes substantially the same argument in this appeal as he made in his appeal of the earlier case. His claim here is somewhat weaker because the police deception—false claim of DNA identification—is related to the other crimes, not these. For that reason, as well as those given in Pierce's other appeal, see Pierce v. State, 761 N.E.2d 821, 2002 WL 118259 (Ind.2002), we find no reversible error in the admission of his confession.

761 N.E.2d 829
II. Evidence of Pierce's Behavior While Giving a Statement

Pierce filed a motion in limine to exclude...

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86 practice notes
  • Ramon v. State, No. 17A03-0707-CR-333.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 10, 2008
    ...the basis of [another] conviction, the two cannot stand.'" Strong v. State, 870 N.E.2d 442, 443 (Ind.2007) (quoting Pierce v. State, 761 N.E.2d 826, 830 (Ind.2002)). To remedy such a double jeopardy violation, a court may reduce the sentencing classification on one of the offending convicti......
  • Wadle v. State, Supreme Court Case No. 19S-CR-340
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • August 18, 2020
    ...and common law announced by Justices Sullivan and Boehm in their respective Richardson concurrences. See, e.g. , Pierce v. State , 761 N.E.2d 826, 830 (Ind. 2002). Under this analytical framework, described as "separate from and additional to" the protections under the actual-evidence test,......
  • Hines v. State, No. 52S05–1408–CR–563.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 19, 2015
    ...amounts only to a single chargeable crime.” Boyd v. State, 766 N.E.2d 396, 400 (Ind.Ct.App.2002), trans. not sought, see Pierce v. State, 761 N.E.2d 826, 830 (Ind.2002) (recognizing “a series of rules of statutory construction and common law that are often described as double jeopardy, but ......
  • Henderson v. State, No. 49S00-0010-CR-616.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • June 6, 2002
    ...relief may be obtained under a series of rules of statutory construction and common law. Spivey, 761 N.E.2d at 834. In Pierce v. State, 761 N.E.2d 826 (Ind.2002), issued contemporaneously with Spivey, we applied one of these rules and granted We therefore elect, sua sponte, to review the de......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
86 cases
  • Ramon v. State, No. 17A03-0707-CR-333.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 10, 2008
    ...the basis of [another] conviction, the two cannot stand.'" Strong v. State, 870 N.E.2d 442, 443 (Ind.2007) (quoting Pierce v. State, 761 N.E.2d 826, 830 (Ind.2002)). To remedy such a double jeopardy violation, a court may reduce the sentencing classification on one of the offending convicti......
  • Wadle v. State, Supreme Court Case No. 19S-CR-340
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • August 18, 2020
    ...and common law announced by Justices Sullivan and Boehm in their respective Richardson concurrences. See, e.g. , Pierce v. State , 761 N.E.2d 826, 830 (Ind. 2002). Under this analytical framework, described as "separate from and additional to" the protections under the actual-evidence test,......
  • Hines v. State, No. 52S05–1408–CR–563.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 19, 2015
    ...amounts only to a single chargeable crime.” Boyd v. State, 766 N.E.2d 396, 400 (Ind.Ct.App.2002), trans. not sought, see Pierce v. State, 761 N.E.2d 826, 830 (Ind.2002) (recognizing “a series of rules of statutory construction and common law that are often described as double jeopardy, but ......
  • Henderson v. State, No. 49S00-0010-CR-616.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • June 6, 2002
    ...relief may be obtained under a series of rules of statutory construction and common law. Spivey, 761 N.E.2d at 834. In Pierce v. State, 761 N.E.2d 826 (Ind.2002), issued contemporaneously with Spivey, we applied one of these rules and granted We therefore elect, sua sponte, to review the de......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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