State v. Butler, 87

Docket NºNo. 87
Citation295 N.C. 250, 244 S.E.2d 410
Case DateJune 06, 1978
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina

Page 410

244 S.E.2d 410
295 N.C. 250
STATE of North Carolina
v.
Willie Thomas BUTLER, a/k/a Top Cat.
No. 87.
Supreme Court of North Carolina.
June 6, 1978.

Rufus L. Edmisten, Atty. Gen. by Thomas F. Moffitt, Associate Atty. Gen., Raleigh, for the State of North Carolina.

Michael A. Ellis and R. Gene Braswell, Goldsboro, for defendant-appellant.

HUSKINS, Justice:

Defendant assigns as error the admission of his inculpatory statement to FBI Agent David C. Martinez, made while in custody and without benefit of counsel. He contends the incriminating statement is inadmissible because he had not waived his constitutional right to the presence and assistance of counsel, relying on Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), as interpreted and applied by this Court in State v. Blackmon, 280 N.C. 42, 185 S.E.2d 123 (1971). This constitutes his first assignment of error and requires examination of the proceedings on voir dire and the findings of the court based thereon.

FBI Agent Martinez testified on voir dire that he arrested defendant at 1225 Sheraton Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, on a fugitive warrant on 3 May 1977. He was immediately and fully advised of his constitutional rights and transported to the New

Page 412

Rochelle office where he was again advised of his rights. Defendant, who had an eleventh grade education, then took the "Advice [295 N.C. 253] of Rights" form and read it himself. He was asked if he understood his rights and he replied that he did. As to signing the "Waiver of Rights" printed at the bottom of the form, defendant said "he didn't want to sign this form and that he didn't want to sign anything." He was told that it was not mandatory that he talk and that he didn't have to sign the form but that "we would like for him to talk to us." Defendant replied: "I will talk to you but I am not signing any form." FBI Agent Martinez then made a notation on the form that defendant refused to sign it.

Since defendant had stated he would talk to Officer Martinez, he was then asked "if he had participated in the armed robbery and he stated that he was there but that he did not actually participate as such in the armed robbery. We asked him to explain a little further and he stated that he and an accomplice had been drinking heavily that day and were walking around and decided to rob a gas station. They came up to a gas station where the attendant was locking up for the night and walked inside the station. He stated that the fellow with him pulled out a gun and told the gas station attendant to get in his car. He then said that the gas station attendant tried to run away and that his friend shot the attendant. At this point Mr. Butler stated that he ran away from them and didn't look back. He stated that he ran to a bus station where he caught a bus to Virginia and that in Virginia he caught another bus to New York where he had been until he was apprehended that morning. We asked him if the other person was someone by the name of Elmer Lee and we had had communications from our Charlotte office saying that Elmer Lee had also been involved. Butler said that Lee was there."

On cross-examination Agent Martinez said: "He did not say anything when I advised him of his right to have an attorney and he just sat there and listened. I repeatedly asked him if he understood his rights and he said that he did. He stated that he would not sign the paper . . . ."

Upon further interrogation by the presiding judge, Agent Martinez said: "He never told us that he did not want the lawyer present. He...

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11 cases
  • North Carolina v. Butler, 78-354
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 24 Abril 1979
    ...cannot stand, since a state court can neither add to nor subtract from the mandates of the United States Constitution. Pp. 372-376. 295 N.C. 250, 244 S.E.2d 410, vacated and remanded. Lester V. Chalmers, Jr., Raleigh, N.C., for petitioner. Page 370 R. Gene Braswell, Goldsboro, N.C., for res......
  • State v. White, 65
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • 6 Noviembre 1979
    ...295 N.C. 327, 245 S.E.2d 663 (1978); and State v. Butler, 441 U.S. 369, 99 S.Ct. 1755, 60 L.Ed.2d 286 (1979), Reversing State v. Butler, 295 N.C. 250, 244 S.E.2d 410 Upon defendant's objection to the admissibility of an incriminating statement made while in custody, the court must conduct a......
  • State v. Connley, 2
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • 14 Julio 1978
    ...in-custody interrogation and did not request a lawyer, his act in making the statement amounted to a waiver of counsel." State v. Butler, 295 N.C. 250, ---, 244 S.E.2d 410, 413 As we have frequently noted, the Supreme Court said in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 470, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 1626,......
  • State v. Carter, No. 70
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • 4 Enero 1979
    ...S.E.2d 902, 904 (1978). (Emphasis original.) "Failure to request counsel is not synonymous with waiver. Nor is silence. State v. Butler, 295 N.C. 250, 255, 244 S.E.2d 410, 413 (1978). The United States Supreme Court said in Miranda v. Arizona, supra, 384 U.S. at 470, 475, 86 S.Ct. at 1626, ......
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