The opinion of the court was delivered by: VINCENT L. BRODERICK
VINCENT L. BRODERICK, U.S.D.J.
This memorandum explains my rulings in connection with a motion to suppress statements of the defendant, which presents issues concerning treatment of volunteered statements after an arrestee declines to sign a written Miranda waiver, and on the second day of detention, where a further warning is not given.
Defendant James K. Copeland ("Copeland") sought suppression of statements made on October 5, 1992 ("October 5") and October 6, 1992 ("October 6") after his arrest on October 5 in connection with robbery of a post office in Orangetown, New York earlier that day. On June 21, 1993 I denied on the record Copeland's motion to suppress statements made on October 5, but granted suppression of those given while in custody on October 6.
An evidentiary hearing was held on Copeland's motion on June 21, 1993 at which two Postal Inspectors testified. Copeland was present in person but did not offer any evidence.
The Postal Inspectors' version of the facts was uncontradicted.
I found the Inspectors' testimony to be credible when tested upon cross examination as well on direct.
New Jersey police arrested Copeland in the vicinity of an Isuzu Trooper Rodeo rammed by police after a high speed chase originating in the area of the Orangetown robbery on October 5. Postal Inspectors arrived at the Norwood jail soon thereafter, and shortly after 6 P.M. on October 5 the Inspectors came to Copeland's cell.
The Inspectors identified themselves and read a Miranda warning to Copeland. Copeland was provided with a copy of the warning and signed on a line acknowledging receipt of the warning. Copeland was familiar with criminal justice procedures, having been arrested approximately six times previously. He declined to sign the waiver portion of the form, stating that he did not want to waive any rights before consulting an attorney, and did not wish to discuss his role in the events of October 5th, but did want to talk about other robberies concerning which he had knowledge in order to see if he could cut a deal. Copeland also told the Inspectors he wished to be removed from local custody in Norwood.
On some occasions Copeland changed the subject or told the inspectors he had already said too much about certain topics. The inspectors then asked Copeland about other matters.
On more than one occasion the Inspectors telephoned a number given by Copeland, who asked to speak with his wife; Copeland was then put on the line. At no time in the presence of the Inspectors or while speaking with them did Copeland request that an attorney be contacted, or to speak to an attorney. The Inspectors never questioned Copeland about his role in the events of October 5, nor did they threaten him with any consequences if he failed to cooperate; Copeland never requested that the discussions, which he initiated, stop.
Copeland told the Inspectors of concern that his wife might be in danger from "Big Mike," a leader of the "group" who might utilize violence. The Inspectors offered to provide assistance if asked, but this was never requested. The Inspectors told Copeland on several occasions that upon ...