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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
DANIELS v. THE STATE.
25693.
Murder. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Wofford.
FELTON, Justice.
In the trial of a sixteen-year-old juvenile on an indictment for murder the court erred in not suppressing evidence showing a written incriminating statement made by the appellant-defendant and erred in admitting the statement in evidence on the trial for the reasons that: (1) The appellant was under virtual restraint and illegal arrest at the time when the interrogation by police officers led to an oral statement that he killed some person and wanted to tell about it. (2) At the time of the earlier questioning, appellant had not been advised of his rights to have present his mother, or father, or a lawyer, etc. (3) At the time of a lie-detector test, he was advised as to his rights except that he had a right to have a parent present to advise him, and no parent was present and neither knew anything of the lie-detector test, and the result of this test played a part in later questioning, which led to the appellant's first oral incriminating statement. (4) The appellant was not under legal arrest when the oral or written incriminating statement was made nor had he been carried before juvenile court authorities as required under Georgia law. (5) Appellant's mother was noticeably under the influence of intoxicants or drugs at the questioning when the appellant was being advised of his rights before the final questioning which resulted in the signed incriminating statement.
This is an appeal from the verdict and judgment of guilty and sentence to life imprisonment filed by the defendant Julius Marshall Daniels, a sixteen-year-old who was convicted of the murder of Barbara Ann House on October 3, 1969.
At about 11:30 p.m. on Monday, July 14, 1969, Barbara Ann House was stabbed to death while on the front porch of her apartment at 396 Peeples Street, S.W., in Atlanta, Georgia. Two young boys, James and Ricky Sanders, were stabbed at the same time. The two boys said that the murder and assault were committed by colored boys. There were no other clues to identity of these colored boys and the Atlanta police began interviewing several hundred Negro youths around the clock, seeking a lead. Appellant, Julius Marshall Daniels, a 16-year-old Negro boy, lived on Abbott Street, a few blocks from where the stabbings took place. He was first questioned by Atlanta police on Friday, July 18, 1969, four days after the stabbing. On that Friday afternoon, Daniels was picked up, questioned at the Atlanta police station and released, but advised to return on Sunday in order that his statement might be reduced to writing. Appellant did as he was told and returned to the Atlanta police station on Sunday, July 20, 1969. Accompanied by his sister, he talked with a police lieutenant and gave a written statement in which he accounted for his whereabouts the night of the murder and disclaimed any knowledge of or participation in the stabbings. Thereafter, he was again allowed to leave the police station. As of July 21, 1969, no arrests had been made. On that date city detectives Sidney Dorsey and P. F. Johnson went to the residence of the appellant, told him that they were to take him downtown for questioning, put him in a police car, and took him to a location on Cain Street in Atlanta, where he was delivered to detective Lewis Graham of the Atlanta Police Department and administered a polygraph, or lie-detector test, which he was advised, showed that he had lied. Appellant was then taken to the third floor of the Atlanta police station by these detectives, where he was again questioned. There are several versions of just what happened there. Appellant testified that he was threatened and physically abused. The detectives called the questioning friendly and similar to a "bull session" -- until appellant stated that "he did it" and wanted to tell them about it. Appellant was called a liar during the questioning and was asked the same questions repeatedly. At each session of questioning of appellant, including the next to the last one, he was not advised as to his constitutional rights to have a parent or a lawyer present, and his rights as to his answering questions or not answering them, etc. After appellant told the detectives that "he did it" the questioning was discontinued until his mother was sent for. Detective Graham testified that he advised appellant of his right for the first time just prior to the administration of the lie-detector test, which advice was in the absence of a lawyer or appellant's parents. When questioning was continued, appellant's mother was at the police station in an intoxicated condition, but not drunk. The detectives testified that the mother was present during the rest of the questioning, but the mother swore that she was not, but was in a separate room. There is no evidence that a warrant was sworn out before the resumption of questioning after appellant's mother came to be with him (whether she actually was, or not) and no one seems to question the fact that the appellant was in the actual restraining custody of the police. After the final session of questioning, appellant gave a statement which was transcribed and which he signed and his mother witnessed. Detective Graham testified that the matter of the arrest and charge in the case was not reported to Juvenile Court Judge Langford until after he had received a statement from appellant containing his incriminating statements which appellant repudiated under oath at his trial, when he explained
that he and a friend had made up the lies (in the statement) to prevent repeated abuse by the detectives in the last questioning period. It appears without contradiction that no effort was made to secure the presence of either of appellant's parents prior to the lie-detector test or the initial interrogation. Nor was appellant taken before the juvenile court judge or official or told by them of his position or his rights until after he had signed the written statement. It is also not contested that, after appellant's written statement was signed and after his mother returned home, he was placed in a line-up at the police station, and that neither parent consented to the line-up or even know about it. No written waiver of counsel was obtained from appellant for the line-up. At the line-up appellant was identified as having been in the vicinity of the crime at about the time of its commission. At about two o'clock on the morning of July 22, 1969, and over nine hours after he was picked up, appellant was transported to the juvenile home and delivered to juvenile authorities. He and his mother appeared in the Juvenile Court of Fulton County the next morning, requested assistance of counsel and were found to qualify as indigent persons and counsel was appointed. At the trial the State's case rested largely on the statement obtained by the detectives on the night of July 21, 1969. The other evidence was circumstantial and included an in-court identification by the witness who identified him at the police line-up held during the late evening hours of July 21, 1969, or in the early morning hours of July 22, 1969.
The appellant's constitutional rights were violated in several particulars. First, he was not carried to juvenile court authorities in Fulton County, where special detention facilities are provided by government authorities, prior to interrogation by authorities which led to the first incriminating statement that he "did it" and wanted to tell about it, and neither parent was notified of the questioning and neither was present and no warning had been theretofore given to appellant concerning his rights. This conduct was clearly violative of the appellant's 5th and 14th amendment rights and those under the Georgia Juvenile Court Act. Code Ann. 24-2416 (Ga. L. 1968, pp. 1013, 1025); In re Gault, 387 U. S. 1 (87 SC 1428, 18 LE2d 527). Second, the letter and spirit of the rulings in In re Gault, supra, were violated by the police authorities when they proceeded as they did when the mother of the appellant showed up to advise and protect him with counsel and advice which she was plainly under the influence of intoxicants, though not drunk. In re Gault, supra, certainly means a competent, sober mother, at least insofar as being under the influence of whiskey or drugs is concerned. Third, applicant has not been carried before the juvenile court and one of his parents notified prior to the time the lie-detector test was administered and before the initial incriminatory statement was elicited, as required by the Juvenile Court, supra, and the Gault case, supra, as well as Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436, 444 (86 SC 1602, 16 LE2d 694, 10 ALR3d 974); Haley v. Ohio, 332 U. S. 596 (68 SC 302, 97 LE 224); Gallegos v. Colorado, 370 U. S. 49 (82 SC 1209, 8 LE2d 325); Culombe v. Conn., 367 U. S. 568 (81 SC 1860, 6 LE2d 1037); Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U. S. 471 (83 SC 407, 9 LE2d 441); Morales v. New York, 396 U. S. 102 (90 SC, 24 LE2d 299); Jackson v. Denno, 378 U. S. 368 (84 SC 1774, 12 LE2d 908, 1 ALR3d 1205); United States v. Wade, 388 U. S. 218, 228 (87 SC 1926, 18 LE2d 1149); Davis v. Mississippi, 394 U. S. 721 (89 SC 1394). There was no legal and formal arrest until after the written statement by the appellant. Under the facts stated above and under the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the statement of the appellant was illegally obtained and evidence of the same should have been excluded on objection of appellant's counsel.
Other questions raised will not be passed on in this appeal for the reason that they are not likely to arise on another trial.
Judgment reversed. All the Justices concur, except Mobley, P. J., and Nichols, J., who concur in the judgment only. Hawes, J., not participating.
Lewis R. Slaton, District Attorney, Carter Goode, Arthur K. Bolton, Attorney General, Harold N. Hill, Jr., Executive Assistant Attorney General, Marion O. Gordon, William R. Childers, Jr., Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee.
Gambrell & Mobley, Robert D. Feagin III, William A. Edwards, Jr., Arnall, Golden & Gregory, for appellant.
ARGUED MARCH 11, 1970 -- DECIDED APRIL 9, 1970.
Friday May 22 16:39 EDT


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