Quick v. State, s. 3298

CourtSupreme Court of Alaska (US)
Citation599 P.2d 712
Docket Number3462 and 3463,Nos. 3298,s. 3298
PartiesRaymond QUICK, Petitioner, v. STATE of Alaska, Respondent. William Thomas JACKSON, Appellant, v. STATE of Alaska, Appellee. In the Matter of T. M., a Minor Child, Appellant, v. STATE of Alaska, Appellee.
Decision Date07 September 1979

William G. Royce, Christianson, Royce & Stahla, Sitka, for petitioner quick.

Harold M. Brown, Ziegler, Cloudy, Smith, King & Brown, Ketchikan, for appellant Jackson.

Richard Yospin, Asst. Public Defender, Ketchikan, and Brian Shortell, Public Defender, Anchorage, for appellant T.M.

Geoffrey G. Currall, Dist. Atty., Ketchikan, and Avrum M. Gross, Atty. Gen., Juneau, for respondent and appellee.



MATTHEWS, Justice.

William Thomas Jackson, Raymond Quick, and T.M., a minor, seek review of rulings made by the superior court in Ketchikan regarding the admissibility and use of confessions made by them to the Ketchikan police. Subsequent to these rulings Quick filed a petition for review, Jackson pleaded Nolo contendere to charges of manslaughter and burglary in a dwelling, and T.M. was adjudged a delinquent after a trial on charges of attempted robbery, manslaughter, and burglary in a dwelling. Jackson also appeals the sentence which resulted from his plea. The facts are as follows:

On April 25, 1976, police in Ketchikan responded to a request for an ambulance at the apartment of Jones George Yeltatzie, aged 79. There the police found Raymond Quick, who indicated that Yeltatzie was his grandfather, and Yeltatzie, who was lying dead beside his bed. At the time the police considered the death to have been from natural causes, and no further investigation was made.

The next day, however, the police received a telephone call from P.F., aged fifteen, who said that she had witnessed two men beating a third older man the previous evening in the vicinity of Yeltatzie's apartment. P.F. went to the police station on April 27, and was interviewed there by police officers. She indicated that she had been walking with T.M. when she saw two men, whom she identified as Raymond and Allen Quick, beating an old man. After knocking the older man unconscious, the two had dragged him into the Alaska Building. P.F. and T.M. then ran home. That

same day it was learned that Quick was not Yeltatzie's grandson, contrary to what he had told police

On April 29, Lt. Leighton, the officer in charge of investigations, asked Detective Dale Young, Juvenile Officer for the Ketchikan Police Department, to speak with T.M. regarding P.F.'s statement. It is clear that the police believed that the events described by P.F. might be connected to Yeltatzie's death. There was, however, no evidence or indication that T.M. was anything but a witness to these events.

Detective Young went to Revilla High School to speak to T.M. He was unable to locate T.M. and left word with the school principal that he wanted to talk with him. About an hour later, T.M. arrived at school, learned that Young had been looking for him, and asked the principal to drive him to the police station. There T.M. was interviewed by Young about the events of April 25. Young testified in his deposition that he told T.M. that:

(H)e wasn't in any trouble that we knew of. All we wanted to know was what he had seen that night.

Q. O.K. And basically he didn't have anything to worry about, he was just a witness to what somebody else did?

A. Right.

T.M. then told Young that he had been too drunk that evening to remember anything, including whether he had even been with P.F. The conversation lasted about ten minutes, and then Young drove T.M. back to school. On the way, Young told T.M. that he might be asked to come back down to the police station later for more questions.

When Young reported the results of his interview to Lieutenant Leighton later that morning, Leighton was dissatisfied and asked that T.M. be brought back in for another interview. According to Lt. Leighton:

I just wanted to get more information than that, he was just drunk and stuff like that. (P.F.) had said that he was there, that she was with him, he witnessed this, and I wanted a little bit more than just saying I don't know, I didn't see anything, I was too drunk, and I don't recall being with (P.F.) I wanted to find out where he was if he wasn't with (P.F.) I couldn't just let it hang like that.

Young called the school, got permission from the principal, drove to the school and picked up T.M.

T.M. was re-interviewed in Lt. Leighton's office. The office is approximately twelve feet by twelve feet. The door was closed. Present at the interview were Lt. Leighton, Detective Young, and Detective Varnell, who was also assigned to the Yeltatzie case. It is agreed that no one informed T.M. that he was free to leave at any time if he desired. The officers again questioned T.M. about what he had seen and were he had been, and received non-committal answers to the effect that he had been too drunk to remember. After a few minutes Lt. Leighton and Detective Varnell left the room to discuss the situation. They both agreed that T.M. was withholding information, but believed this was because he was afraid of retaliation from those who had beaten the old man. When Leighton and Varnell returned, Leighton began asking questions in a more aggressive manner. In his deposition Leighton stated:

A. All right, when I went back in the office I told him, I says, I don't think you're telling us the truth, we're conducting a murder investigation and I feel you're withholding any information or evidence, something along that line.

Q. And that he could get into a lot of trouble?

A. I believe I said that, yes.

Leighton then announced that he was going to contact P.F. and left the office to do so. Varnell stated in his deposition that he then asked T.M.:

A. (A)re you scared, or are you afraid somebody is going to retaliate, those type of things.

Q. What was his response?

A. He indicated that yes, he was afraid that somebody was going to get him.

And I said, well, what are you afraid of, why would you be afraid they're going to get you. If you give us the information we're not going to tell them you gave it to us, first of all, and secondly, we'll go out and get them and arrest them and put them in jail. And that's when he made the statement if I told you what I knew, I'd be an accessory to murder

As he made this statement, T.M. began to cry. The officers immediately told T.M. to stop talking. They then turned on a tape recorder and advised him of his rights. T.M. then confessed that he had participated in the assault on Yeltatzie, and named Raymond Quick and "Ben Quick" as Yeltatzie's murderers. Raymond Quick was then arrested and subsequently confessed to participating in the murder, naming William Jackson, rather that "Ben Quick," as the third participant in the murder. Jackson was then arrested and also made a confession.

The defendants filed several pre-trial motions. First, they asked that T.M.'s confession be suppressed as being the product of illegal coercion and thus in violation of T.M.'s constitutional rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1964). Jackson and Quick maintained that Criminal Rule 26(g) 1 gave them standing to assert T.M.'s constitutional rights. They also requested suppression of Jackson's confession arguing that it had been obtained in violation of Jackson's Miranda Rights. When T.M. agreed to testify for the state against the adult defendants, Jackson and Quick moved for a protective order prohibiting his testimony. Finally, Quick and Jackson requested separate trials.

In a carefully detailed and well reasoned memorandum decision, the superior court denied the motions of Jackson and Quick to prohibit use of T.M.'s confession or testimony at their trials. The court assumed for the purposes of the defendant's motion that T.M.'s statement had been illegally obtained, but held that Rule 26(g) did not prevent the statement from being used against codefendants because any violation of T.M.'s rights had been inadvertent. The court also found the confession of William Jackson to have been properly obtained and refused to suppress it.

The judge denied the motions of Jackson and Quick to sever their trials. To avoid possible constitutional problems under Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123, 88 S.Ct. 1620, 20 L.Ed.2d 476 (1968), the court indicated that certain deletions would be made from each defendant's confession before being admitted at trial. On the same day the superior court judge held an evidentiary hearing on the circumstances surrounding T.M.'s confession. At the conclusion of the hearing the court found that the confession was voluntary and ruled that it could be used against T.M.

Following these rulings, Quick filed a petition for review and Jackson pleaded Nolo contendere to the charges of manslaughter and burglary in a dwelling. Jackson stipulated with the state that certain issues had been reserved for appeal to the supreme court under the doctrine announced in Cooksey v. State, 524 P.2d 1251 (Alaska 1974). 2

On April 5, 1977, T.M. was adjudged a delinquent following a jury trial and appealed to this court. T.M.'s appeal was consolidated with Jackson's appeal and Quick's petition for review on July 26, 1977.


The first issue on appeal is whether T.M.'s confession was obtained in violation of his Miranda rights. Two possible violations have been raised by the appellants and petitioner. First, they contend that T.M. was in a custodial situation and was pressured into making the inculpatory statements that led to his subsequent confession. It is their position that T.M. should have been warned of his rights at the time he arrived at the station for his second interview with police on April 29. Second, they argue that, even after T.M. was informed of his rights,...

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