FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF GRANT COUNTY J.C. Robinson,
H. Balderas, Attorney General Kenneth H. Stalter, Assistant
Attorney General Santa Fe, NM for Appellant
Bennett J. Baur, Chief Public Defender Jeffrey J. Buckels,
Assistant Public Defender Santa Fe, NM for Appellee
BARBARA J. VIGIL, Justice
In this case we reexamine a juvenile's right to be free
from self-incrimination, as secured by the Fifth Amendment of
the United States Constitution and the Basic Rights provision
under the Delinquency Act of the Children's Code, NMSA
1978, Section 32A-2-14 (2009). The State appeals the
suppression of two statements made by sixteen-year-old
Filemon made the first statement to his probation officers.
We hold that, absent a valid waiver, Section 32A-2-14(C)
precludes the admission of Filemon's statement to his
probation officers while in investigatory detention. We
affirm the district court's order suppressing the use of
the statement in a subsequent prosecution.
The second contested statement was elicited by police
officers at the Silver City Police Department. Filemon was at
this point in custody, and entitled to be warned of his
Miranda rights. At issue is whether the midstream
Miranda warnings were sufficient to inform Filemon
of his rights. We conclude that the warnings were
insufficient under Missouri v. Seibert, 542 U.S.
600, 617 (2004). Because the statement was elicited in clear
violation of the Fifth Amendment and Section 32A-2-14, we
affirm the district court's suppression of the statement.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
This case comes to this Court on interlocutory appeal from
the Sixth Judicial District Court. Pursuant to Rule
12-201(A)(1)(a) NMRA, the State appeals the district
court's order to suppress two statements, one elicited at
the juvenile probation office and the other at the Silver
City Police Department.
Filemon was on probation for committing a delinquent act and
expected to come to the probation office to pick up a travel
permit. Filemon arrived at the probation office with his
mother and stepfather. When he entered the lobby, Supervisor
Rachel Medina greeted Filemon and asked if he was there to
pick up the travel permit. Filemon responded that he
"just shot Chugie and Eric." Supervisor Medina
asked what Filemon was talking about, and Filemon's
mother interjected, stating that he was there "to turn
himself in." At that point, Filemon's probation
officer, Cody McNiel, entered the lobby. Filemon again said
that he was there to "turn himself in, " this
time adding, "for murder, I guess."
Prior to Filemon's arrival, McNiel had been informed of a
shooting and was helping to locate a potential
suspect-Filemon's co-defendant in another case. Thus,
McNiel knew what Filemon was talking about. McNiel told
Filemon to "go ahead and come in and . . . we'll go
to my office and . . . we'll discuss it."
McNiel escorted Filemon through a locked door and a hallway,
to Supervisor Medina's office. McNiel shut the door.
Filemon's parents told McNiel and Supervisor Medina that
Filemon wanted to turn himself in to New Mexico State Police
Officer Michael Dunn, because "that's who he
trusts." McNiel stepped out and asked another probation
officer to call the police, identifying Filemon as "the
Inside Supervisor Medina's office, McNiel asked if
Filemon was there "to confess [to] the drive-by
shooting." Filemon responded, "[I]t wasn't a
drive-by." McNiel persisted, "[O]kay . . . why
don't you go ahead and tell me the story then."
Filemon responded with the first contested statement. McNiel
continued to speak to Filemon until police arrived.
Supervisor Medina later testified that Filemon arrived at the
probation office of his own volition, and neither she nor
McNiel questioned Filemon. According to McNiel, however,
McNiel "wanted to keep him talking until . . . law
enforcement got there so that they could take him into
custody." Filemon's mother "[did] most of the
talking" and "Filemon said very little."
Neither probation officer advised Filemon of his
Miranda rights or his right to remain silent under
Section 32A-2-14. See Javier M., 2001-NMSC-030,
¶ 41 (determining that Section 32A-2-14 requires a child
to be warned of the right to remain silent during an
Several police officers arrived at the probation office,
including Officer Dunn and Sergeant Joseph Arredondo.
Sergeant Arredondo had been present at the hospital with the
victims prior to his dispatch and knew Filemon was a suspect.
Supervisor Medina told at least one police officer what
Filemon had said. According to Supervisor Medina, the parking
lot of the juvenile probation office looked "like
Christmas" due to the number of police units and
Sergeant Arredondo informed Filemon that "detectives
needed to speak with him" and transported Filemon and
his mother to the Silver City Police Department, where he
turned Filemon over to Captain Javier Hernandez. Captain
Hernandez met Filemon and his mother in the parking lot and
asked if they would come inside. Captain Hernandez had been
actively questioning an eyewitness to the shooting, and knew
that the likely shooter was short, named "Fil, "
and had a "peanut-shaped" head, which matched
Seeing that the interview room was occupied with another
suspect, Captain Hernandez took Filemon and his mother to his
office. Captain Hernandez summoned the case agent assigned to
the murder investigation, Detective Pat Castillo. Captain
Hernandez later testified that he intended for Detective
Castillo "to sit there and listen to what [Filemon] had
to say because the other witness . . . wasn't cooperating
with us." Captain Hernandez turned on his belt recorder
and asked Filemon "how old he was" and "if he
was going to tell me what happened today." Filemon
responded, "What [do] you want to know?" Captain
Hernandez answered, "Everything." Filemon proceeded
to give a full statement.
At no time did Captain Hernandez advise Filemon of his
constitutional rights. When asked why he did not advise
Filemon of his constitutional rights, Captain Hernandez said,
"I didn't really think about it. I wasn't sure
what his involvement was . . . if he was the shooter or if he
wasn't the shooter. I just wanted to see what information
he had." Once he obtained Filemon's statement,
Captain Hernandez told Filemon that he would be detained. The
State concedes that the statement elicited by Captain
Hernandez is inadmissible.
Captain Hernandez then asked Filemon to make a statement to
Detective Castillo. Detective Castillo took Filemon and his
mother to the interview room, where he read Filemon his
Miranda warnings. Before continuing the interview,
Detective Castillo told Filemon that he was "finishing
up." Detective Castillo characterized the
Miranda warnings as a "formality, " and
instructed Filemon and his mother to sign the written waiver
of rights, which they did. Detective Castillo explained that
their conversation would "go the same way" as the
conversation with Captain Hernandez, but in greater detail.
Detective Castillo did not inform Filemon that the statement
he had just given to Captain Hernandez would ...