Speed v. State

Decision Date24 November 1986
Docket NumberNo. 26S00-8603-CR-317,26S00-8603-CR-317
PartiesPreston SPEED, Appellant (Defendant below), v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Timothy R. Dodd, Evansville, for appellant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Gary Damon Secrest, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PIVARNIK, Justice.

Defendant-Appellant Preston Speed was convicted of rape, a class A felony, at the conclusion of a jury trial in the Gibson Circuit Court. He was sentenced to twenty (20) years. On direct appeal, the sole issue is the admissibility of testimony regarding Appellant's statement to the police.

Appellant was arrested and charged with rape. Subsequently, he was questioned by State Police Officer Gregory Oeth and Gibson County Deputy Sheriff David Knowles, who first advised Appellant of his Miranda rights. Knowles also handed Appellant an advisement and waiver form, telling him that by signing the form, he was not making a confession, that he was just signing his rights, and that all he was doing was saying he understood his rights. Appellant read the form himself and signed it. Appellant proceeded to talk with the officers, and made remarks which incriminated himself. Prior to trial, Appellant moved to suppress all evidence of this statement, which motion was denied. At trial, over Appellant's objection, Oeth and Knowles testified concerning Appellant's statements to them. Thereafter, Appellant, himself, testified that he had indeed told Oeth and Knowles the things they had testified about, and did not attempt to impugn their testimony; rather, he explained that he had lied when he talked to them, "to keep him from ... asking questions." Appellant makes no assertion that he took the stand due only to the admission of his statement, and his testimony goes beyond that issue.

Appellant first claims that Knowles' comments misled him and resulted in an unknowing and involuntary waiver, thus rendering his statement inadmissible.

A waiver of one's Miranda rights occurs when he, after being advised of those rights and acknowledging that he understands them, proceeds to make a statement without taking advantage of those rights. Shelton v. State (1986), Ind., 490 N.E.2d 738, 741. The voluntariness and intelligence of a waiver is reviewed by looking at the totality of the circumstances. Wagner v. State (1985), Ind., 474 N.E.2d 476, 484. Thus, a signed waiver form is not dispositive of the issue, but is merely evidence tending to support finding a voluntary and intelligent waiver. Brown v. State (1979), 271 Ind. 129, 132, 390 N.E.2d 1000, 1002-1003, reh. denied (1979). Likewise, Knowles' comment at issue here, although equivocal, did not, in and of itself, vitiate all subsequent statements. This is especially true in light of the fact that the signature on the waiver form is not, itself, a waiver; it is the act of proceeding, aware of one's rights, that constitutes a waiver. Shelton, Ind., 490 N.E.2d at 741.

Recently, in Moran v. Burbine (1986), 475 U.S. ----, ---- - ----, 106 S.Ct. 1135, 1141-1142, 89 L.Ed.2d 410, 421-422, Justice O'Connor wrote, once again clarifying the requirements of Miranda, as follows:

"Miranda holds that '[the defendant may waive effectuation' of the rights conveyed in the warnings 'provided the waiver is made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently.' [citation omitted] ... First, the relinquishment of the right must have been voluntary in the sense that it was the product of a free and deliberate choice rather than intimidation, coercion or deception. Second, the waiver must have been made with a full awareness both of the nature of the right being abandoned and the consequences of the decision to abandon it. Only if the 'totality of the circumstances surrounding the interrogation' reveal both an uncoerced choice and the requisite level of comprehension may a court properly conclude that the Miranda rights have been waived. [citations omitted.]

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Once it is determined that a suspect's decision not to rely on his rights was uncoerced, that he at all times knew he could stand mute and request a lawyer, and that he was aware of the state's intention to use his statements to secure a conviction, the analysis is complete and the waiver is valid as a matter of law."

The facts of the present case reveal that Oeth and Knowles advised Appellant of his rights. Appellant does not contest the sufficiency of these rights. Furthermore, Appellant was given a form entitled, "YOUR RIGHTS," which contained the following information:

"Before we ask you any questions, you must understand your rights.

You have the right to remain silent.

Anything you say can be used against you in court.

You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions and to have him with you during questioning.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before questioning if you wish.

If you decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time. You also have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to a lawyer.

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I have read this statement of my rights and I understand what my rights are. I am willing to make a statement and answer questions. I do not want a lawyer at this time. I understand and know what I am doing. No promises or threats have been made to me and no pressure or coercion of any kind has been used against me."

Appellant never questioned the contents of either the rights which were read to him, or the waiver form which he signed. Nor is there any evidence from the record which even suggests confusion or misunderstanding on his part. In fact, he did ask about the provision...

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7 cases
  • Crain v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • October 20, 2000
    ...and acknowledging an understanding of them, proceeds to make a statement without taking advantage of those rights. See Speed v. State, 500 N.E.2d 186, 188 (Ind.1986). In addition to the required Miranda advisement, a defendant's self-incriminating statement must also be voluntarily given. S......
  • Willoughby v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • April 10, 1990
    ...rights and wished to waive them. He also signed a waiver-of-rights form, which tends to support the trial court's ruling. Speed v. State (1986), Ind., 500 N.E.2d 186. The detectives testified that the defendant never requested an attorney. The evidence supporting the ruling also shows that ......
  • Ingram v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • December 14, 1989
    ...cite to any authority for his proposition. Failure to support his proposition with authority waives the issue for appeal. Speed v. State (1986), Ind., 500 N.E.2d 186. Regardless of waiver, when a defendant takes the stand to testify in his own behalf, he becomes subject to all rules that go......
  • Ringo v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • October 18, 2000
    ...and acknowledging that he understands them, proceeds to make a statement without taking advantage of those rights. See Speed v. State, 500 N.E.2d 186, 188 (Ind. 1986). The admissibility of a confession is controlled by determining from the totality of the circumstances whether the confessio......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Trial practice
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Defending Drinking Drivers - Volume One
    • March 31, 2022
    ...lacks clarity, it may refresh the recollection of law enforcement officers who may testify afterward on the confession. Speed v. State , 500 N.E.2d 186, 190 (Ind. 1986). §641.5.2 Voluntariness of Confession If the general authentication requirements have been met, constitutional considerati......

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