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State v. Bordeaux

December 7, 2007

STATE OF KANSAS, APPELLANT,
v.
ANTHONY DEMONDE BORDEAUX, APPELLEE.



Appeal from Lyon District Court, MERLIN G. WHEELER, judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Miranda warnings are required for a custodial interrogation. There are thus two prerequisites to the applicability of Miranda: custody and interrogation.

2. A person is in custody for Miranda purposes when formally taken into custody or deprived of his or her freedom of action in a significant way. A court must consider the circumstances of the interrogation and whether a reasonable person would have felt that he or she could terminate the investigation and leave.

3. In some cases, such as routine traffic stops in which the detention is brief and the encounter occurs in public, no Miranda warnings are required even though the person is not free to leave. When a person is subject to restraints comparable to those associated with formal arrest, however, the person is in custody for Miranda purposes.

4. A person is interrogated for Miranda purposes when police officers use words or actions that they should reasonably know are likely to elicit an incriminating response.

5. Eight nonexclusive factors may be considered in determining whether an interrogation is a custodial one: (1) the time and place of the interrogation, (2) the length of the interrogation, (3) the number of officers present, (4) the statements made by the officers and by the defendant, (5) the presence of actual physical restraint on the defendant or something equivalent to that, such as drawn weapons or a guard stationed at an exit door, (6) whether the defendant is being questioned as a suspect or as a witness, (7) whether the defendant arrived voluntarily at the site of interrogation, and (8) whether the defendant left freely, was detained, or was arrested following the interrogation.

6. On the facts of this case, a person who was questioned by one police officer--while being patted down by another--immediately after he had been ordered at gunpoint out of hiding in a small, dark storage shed at night was in custody for purposes of Miranda. Under these circumstances, the pressures inherent in a situation dominated to that point by police force and physical restraint had not dissipated.

7. On the facts of this case, a person, who had been found at night hiding in a small, dark storage shed where he had no apparent right to be present, was interrogated for purposes of Miranda when police asked him a question designed to tie him to a suspicious person reported earlier that evening in the mobile-home park where the shed was located. Under these circumstances, officers should have known that the question was reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leben, J.

Affirmed.

Before GREENE, P.J., MALONE and LEBEN, JJ.

Anthony Bordeaux was ordered at gunpoint to come out of an open garden shed in which he was hiding. The shed was located behind a mobile home; an owner of a neighboring lot in the mobile-home park had called police to investigate a suspicious man wearing blue jeans, a black coat, and a black stocking cap. Once Bordeaux came out of the shed, the officer ordered him to put his hands on top of the shed so that the officer could conduct a pat-down for weapons. Bordeaux refused this order at least twice before complying, the officer's demands presumably becoming more and more insistent until Bordeaux complied. While one officer was conducting the pat-down--perhaps with Bordeaux already in handcuffs--another officer grabbed a black coat from inside the shed and asked Bordeaux whether it was his coat. Bordeaux admitted that it was.

This case was in district court because drugs were found in the coat. The case is in the Court of Appeals because the district court suppressed Bordeaux's statement admitting ownership of the coat, and the State has appealed. The district court's ruling was based on violation of the well-known rule in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L.Ed. 2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602 (1966), which precludes police interrogation of suspects in custody unless several warnings are given as a procedural safeguard. We agree with the district court that Bordeaux, who was in the midst of a pat-down search immediately after being held at gunpoint, was in custody for purposes of Miranda. We also agree with the district court that the officer interrogated him when he asked Bordeaux the question. We therefore affirm the district court's judgment suppressing Bordeaux's response during the impermissible custodial interrogation.

On appeal, we review the factual findings of the district court to be sure that they were supported by substantial competent evidence. The legal conclusions drawn from those facts, including whether a person was in custody at the time of an interrogation, are subject to de novo review, and no deference is owed to the legal conclusions of the district court. State v. Jones, 283 Kan. 186, 192, 151 P.3d 22 (2007).

The State has challenged both prongs of the district court's Miranda analysis. First, the State argues that Bordeaux was not in custody. Second, the State argues that he was not interrogated.

Bordeaux Was in Custody for Miranda Purposes When He Was Being Patted Down Immediately After Having Been Ordered Out of Hiding at Gunpoint

Miranda warnings are necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides a right to remain silent about possible criminal wrongdoing and thus avoids coerced statements and confessions. See Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428, 147 L.Ed. 2d 405, 120 S.Ct. 2326 (2000). The Miranda warnings are familiar to all: that the defendant "has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed." ...


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