Submitted: April 11, 2017
the State of Delaware's Motion for Reargument. Denied.
Kenneth M. Haltom, Esquire and Nicole S. Hartman, Esquire,
Department of Justice, Dover, Delaware; attorneys for the
D. Phillips, Esquire and Julianne E. Murray, Esquire of
Murray Phillips, P.A., Georgetown, Delaware; attorneys for
WILLIAM L. WITHAM, JR. RESIDENT JUDGE
State has filed a Motion for Re-Argument following this
Court's order of April 4, 2017. Defendant Rondree
Campbell has not filed a response, and the deadline for such
a response has passed. The Court's earlier order granted
Mr. Campbell's motion to suppress statements he made
following the invocation of his right to remain silent.
Because the motion raises no facts which differ from those in
the Court's earlier decision, the Court does not revisit
those facts here.
State argues that the Court failed to consider Mr.
Campbell's entire response to Detective Warren's
question (i.e., the Court relied on Mr. Campbell saying
"yeah" instead of his full response, "yeah,
what is you-what is there to say?"). The State further
argues that the application of United States v.
Williams weighs in favor of denying Mr.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for reargument in a criminal case is governed by
Superior Court Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). Such a motion
will be granted only if "the Court has overlooked a
controlling precedent or legal principles, or the Court has
misapprehended the law or facts such as would have changed
the outcome of the underlying decision." A motion for
reargument is not an opportunity for a party to rehash
arguments already decided by the Court or to present new
arguments not previously raised. In order for the motion
to be granted, the movant must "demonstrate newly
discovered evidence, a change in the law, or manifest
contention that the Court did not consider the full context
of Mr. Campbell's response is incorrect. The Court
outlined Mr. Campbell's full response on page four of its
previous order. The Court's further analysis, on page
eleven of the order, did not mention the remainder of Mr.
Campbell's response (namely "what is you-what is
there to say?"). However, a careful review of the
remainder of his response was a question that did not beg an
answer: in other words, a rhetorical question. The necessary
implication of that question was that Mr. Campbell did not
believe there was anything else to say. He was done talking.
He had invoked his right to remain silent. That is why the
interrogatory detective got up disturbed and walked out.
State notes, rightfully, that "bye, " standing
alone, would be an ambiguous invocation of Mr. Campbell's
right to remain silent. In fact, the Court noted as much on
page eleven of its earlier order. The State's new
argument, that saying "bye" was an
"acknowledgment of his future custody status, "
does little to defeat its ambiguity, and at best suggests one
of the multiple possible interpretations a reasonable officer
might place on the statement. But it matters little, because
Detective Warren asked a clarifying question, as our law
requires when such an ambiguous invocation is
asked that clarifying question, Mr. Campbell indicated that
he was done talking. The detective was not then at liberty to
clarify Mr. Campbell's intent by leaving the room,
returning, and then cajoling him to speak. Attempts at
persuasion are not the same as clarification. The State,
however, invites the Court to look at the case through a
rosier lens when it argues that the detective
"remind[ed] him of his Miranda rights"
after returning to the room. In reality, Detective Warren did
not repeat the warnings. At best, he alluded to them. That
allusion did not cure the detective's subsequent failure
to scrupulously honor Mr. Campbell's right to remain
States v. Williams cannot bear the weight the State
attempts to place on it, and even the State recognizes that
the test applied there differs from the more protective
standard imposed by the Delaware Constitution. In
Williams, the defendant was asked if she was done
talking, said yes, and then launched into a monologue of her
own volition. No such monologue occurred here. In
this case, Mr. Campbell said "yes" when asked if he
was done talking. The detective then angrily left the room,