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People v. Williams

Other Lower Courts

September 10, 2001

The People of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
Daryl Williams, Defendant.

Page 376


Robert Ellis, New York City, for defendant.

Charles J. Hynes, District Attorney of Kings County, Brooklyn (Maria Leonardi of counsel), for plaintiff.


Carolyn E. Demarest, J.

Defendant Daryl Williams moves to suppress several oral, written and videotaped statements obtained from him following his arrest on November 2, 2000, and to suppress a gun recovered from his home in his absence also on November 2, 2000. This case implicates the right of the defendant to be arraigned promptly and his concomitant right to the presence of an attorney to assist him.

On October 22, 2000, in the vicinity of Avenue D and East 48th Street, Brooklyn, defendant Daryl Williams, together with two others also named in this indictment and a fourth unapprehended individual, was allegedly involved in a shooting incident in which shots were fired from a moving vehicle, striking two and causing the death of Jean Bien-Aime. A wanted card for the defendant Daryl Williams was issued out of the 70th Precinct based on information available to authorities. At the hearing, Detective Dennis Murphy of the Fugitive Apprehension Team testified that, based upon the wanted card, he had attempted to locate Mr. Williams at his home at 2501 Nostrand Avenue, apartment 7E, and in the course of such efforts, had previously spoken to his mother, Rosella Bryson. At approximately 2:30 A.M . during Detective Murphy's tour of duty on November 2, 2000, he became aware of the arrest of Daryl Williams on an unrelated matter, whereupon, at 6:15 A.M ., he again proceeded to defendant's home where he spoke with Ms. Bryson. Ms. Bryson recognized Detective Murphy from his prior visit and told him that she knew her son had been arrested and was " relieved." Stating that she " knew" the reason for the detective's presence, she led Detective Murphy

Page 377

into her son's room and pointed out a Timberland shoebox which contained a .38 caliber revolver and, in a separate Winchester box, live ammunition. Ms. Bryson indicated that the weapon belonged to her son and gave written permission for the detective to remove the weapon from her home " for [her] safety" (People's exhibit 1).

After securing the revolver, aware that Mr. Williams was wanted on the 70th Precinct homicide as well as a separate case involving a shooting in the 67th Precinct, Detective Murphy and his partner proceeded to the criminal court building and awaited Mr. Williams' arraignment on the burglary case for which he had been arrested hours before. Detective Murphy testified that he attempted to remove defendant from the basement pens of the criminal court prior to his arraignment but was told that his burglary case " had been docketed" and he would have to wait until after the arraignment. Following Mr. Williams' arraignment on November 2, as he was leaving the criminal court building at approximately 10:15 A.M ., having been released on his own recognizance, Detective Murphy arrested Daryl Williams and removed him to the 67th Precinct, placing him in a cell in the second floor detective squad room. Thereafter, Detective Murphy had no further contact with Daryl Williams. Detective Murphy testified that Mr. Williams said nothing and was asked no questions in his presence.

Sergeant Edward Mullins took control of the defendant at approximately 10:40 A.M . on November 2, 2000, when the defendant was placed in a cell within 10 feet of his office by Detective Murphy. Sergeant Mullins testified to having occasional casual contact with the defendant unrelated to any particular investigation throughout the day up until approximately 10:00 or 11:00 P.M ., but the primary investigation into the shooting incident on September 15, 2000, in which the defendant had also been implicated, was conducted during the day by Detective Joseph Calabrese of the 67th Precinct. Detective Calabrese testified that he spoke with the defendant in the 67th Precinct squad office regarding a lineup at approximately 4:00 P.M . on November 2. Between 4:00 and 9:00 P.M ., Detective Calabrese arranged to secure the presence of the witnesses on the September 15 shooting and obtained fillers while the defendant remained in the holding cell and spoke to no other individuals. He was permitted to use the restroom during this period of time and provided " something to eat" by Detective Calabrese. At 10:00 P.M . the lineup was conducted and the defendant was identified, whereupon he was formally arrested for the September 15 shooting.

Page 378

Following the conclusion of the investigation regarding the September 15 incident, Sergeant Edward Mullins initiated an investigation regarding the October 22 homicide which is the subject of this indictment. He testified that the defendant was taken to the apprehension office where he could be made more comfortable, was told of the identification that had been made (apparently with respect to the September 15 crime) and was also told that he faced serious charges as a result. Sergeant Mullins then engaged the defendant in a conversation that included basketball, his daughter, his mother, and the fact that he was in serious trouble. Sergeant Mullins then told the defendant that he could " set things straight" and gave him Miranda warnings from a sheet of paper which is People's exhibit 9 in evidence. The defendant himself wrote the word " yes" next to each question, as well as various other notations which were meant to establish his coherence. He also signed his name on the Miranda sheet. He was given food and beverage and permitted to use the restroom and was made no promises. He was told, however, that Sergeant Mullins believed that he had been involved in the homicide of October 22. Following the waiver of his Miranda rights, defendant stated orally that he had been attempting to purchase marijuana and had entered a vehicle which he believed to be stolen and began driving around looking for a seller, when the driver " spotted" an individual with whom he had had a prior dispute. After picking up another person who would have guns, they returned to the location of the person who had had the prior dispute and began firing shots at him from the car. Defendant denied doing any of the shooting but said a gun was placed in his hand.

At the conclusion of this first oral statement, defendant was given a pad of paper and asked to write his statement. Left alone, defendant composed People's exhibit 10 in evidence in his own hand and signed it. Upon reviewing this first written statement, Sergeant Mullins asked some additional questions of the defendant and asked him to write a second statement which is People's exhibit 11 in evidence, signed multiple times by the defendant in his own hand. Again defendant was left alone to compose his statement. The entire interview process took approximately an hour and a half, following which, the defendant remained at the 67th Precinct throughout the night while the investigation continued, the two codefendants were apprehended and a ballistics examination was conducted on the gun recovered from his bedroom and the bullet removed from the body of the deceased.

Page 379

On November 3, 2000, sometime after 1:00 P.M ., Detective John McGurran approached the defendant regarding the possibility of making a videotape statement to the District Attorney. Defendant agreed to do so and, at 4:17 P.M . on November 3, a videotape statement was given to the District Attorney (People's exhibit 4). Miranda warnings were repeated by the District Attorney prior to questioning. There is no indication of any coercion or intimidation of the defendant who appears in the videotape to be very cooperative and relaxed in responding to the questions posed. A second video was made soon after exhibit 4 which is not a subject of this hearing and is presumed to be unrelated to the homicide of October 22. Defendant was then returned to his cell at approximately 5:00 P.M . on November 3 where he remained overnight, while the investigation continued. During this time he was given pizza and was observed to be sleeping for extended periods of time.

When Sergeant Mullins reported for duty on the morning of November 4, having left the precinct in mid-afternoon on November 3, prior to defendant's videotaped statements, he found defendant in the cell outside his office and returned him to the apprehension room for breakfast. Sergeant Mullins testified that the ballistics report had by this time been obtained and indicated that the gun recovered from defendant's bedroom was the murder weapon in the October 22 shooting. At approximately 8:30 or 9:00 A.M ., as he sat with defendant over breakfast, Sergeant Mullins repeated Miranda warnings from People's exhibit 12, which was also signed by defendant, and then told him of the results of the ballistics testing. Defendant agreed to give further explanation and stated he did not have the .38 but that " Craig" (codefendant Hamilton) had the .38 while defendant had a .380 automatic which he did not fire at anybody, but in the opposite direction. Defendant stated that his two codefendants, Fatal (whom he called Stalky) and Hamilton, both fired at the crowd. Defendant stated he wanted to get out of the car and was angry at being involved. Thereafter, defendant agreed to make an additional video statement, People's exhibit 13. This videotape also contains a recitation of Miranda warnings by the District Attorney and depicts a ...

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