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PEOPLE STATE NEW YORK v. WILLIAM O. ANONYMOUS (05/23/68)

COUNTY COURT OF NEW YORK, SPECIAL TERM, NASSAU COUNTY 1968.NY.41788 <http://www.versuslaw.com>; 299 N.Y.S.2d 569; 59 Misc. 2d 358 May 23, 1968 THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, PLAINTIFF,v.WILLIAM O. ANONYMOUS, DEFENDANT James J. McDonough for defendant. William Cahn, District Attorney, for plaintiff. David T. Gibbons, J. Author: Gibbons


David T. Gibbons, J.

Author: Gibbons

 In this Huntley-Miranda hearing brought to suppress alleged statements of a youthful offender charged with the crime of grand larceny arising out of an alleged car theft, the court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law. (Code Crim. Pro., ยง 813-f et seq.)

At about 8:00 p.m. on August 28, 1967, while police officers Nolan and Vincent were on motor patrol, proceeding westbound on Hempstead Turnpike in Farmingdale, their attention was directed to the occupants of a 1962 Chevrolet which was being driven in the opposite direction. The policemen turned their car about and began to pursue the other car.

The three occupants of the car were apprehended by the police at about 8:10 p.m. while they were leaving a delicatessen store on Merrick Road, Farmingdale. It was then ascertained that the car had been operated by one, Joseph M , and that Richard C was a passenger sitting on the front seat, while the defendant was a passenger in the rear.

The defendant, William O is an orphan, 18 years of age, and at the time of the alleged occurrence he was unemployed and a recipient of public welfare. The defendant's education ended at the eighth grade. He boards in the foster home of a Mr. C , the father of co-defendant, Richard C , at his residence in Levittown.

As a result of inquiry by the police at the scene, it was disclosed that, between the time the car was first sighted and the boys were found, the car was involved in a collision with another car and was abandoned.

Patrolman Nolan stated that while on the street he gave the required Miranda warnings (infra) to the trio and that Richard C then admitted that the car was stolen and that it had been abandoned on Sullivan Street.

Patrolman Nolan also testified that at this time the defendant was "quite drunk" and that "he had slurred speech. He didn't appear to be in complete control of his faculties. He wasn't aware of what time it was or exactly what was going on". When the officer was questioned as to what behavior indicated that the defendant was not aware of what was going on, he testified, "his lethargic attitude, an attitude of I don't care, it doesn't appear to me like he really cared what was going on is what I should say". He observed also that the defendant's eyes were watery, glazed and that his speech was slurred.

When questioned as to the defendant's response to him on the street after the Miranda warning was given, he said that the defendant remarked, "I don't want a lawyer, I didn't do nothing".

The police then took the three young men to the police station where they were turned over to Detective Madden at about 9:30 p.m.

At about 9:45 p.m., Mr. C , with whom the defendant was living, the father of Richard C , arrived at the station house and was present when his son was interrogated as a juvenile in a room separate and apart from the one in which the defendant and M were held.

After Richard C signed a statement he was permitted to leave with his father. The defendant was aware of this. After Richard C left with his father, the detective turned his attention to the defendant and his other companion, Joseph M , at about 10:30 p.m.

During the ensuing interrogation by Detective Madden which ended shortly after 11:00 p.m., he gave them large printed cards containing purported Miranda warnings. When the defendant told him that he could not read, the detective read from a paper taped to a locker, containing the same written matter, and which he characterized as one of the "old cards". The wording was in the first person and read as follows: "I have been advised that I need not give any statement and that any statement I do give may be used as evidence and that I have a right to call a lawyer and that if I cannot afford a lawyer one will be appointed by the court. After being aware and having been advised of these rights I hereby waive these said rights".

He described their behavior at this time during the questioning as "very jovial" and that "at this point still continuously laughing ...


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