Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Pierce

Superior Court of Delaware

October 2, 2017

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
STEVEN PIERCE, Defendant.

          Submitted: September 25, 2017

         Upon Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence DENIED in part; GRANTED in part

          Honorable Andrea L. Rocanelli, Judge.

         Defendant Steven Pierce ("Defendant") was indicted on December 5, 2016 on charges of Murder in the First Degree and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony. On July 6, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to suppress his interview with police for all purposes, including impeachment purposes, on the grounds that his constitutional rights were violated. The State opposes Defendant's motion seeking admission of Defendant's statement for impeachment only, if applicable. Upon consideration of the facts, arguments, and legal authority set forth by the parties; statutory and decisional law; and the entire record in this case, the Court hereby finds as follows:

         1. On July 9, 2016, Heather Stamper was found murdered in her home. Defendant had been involved in a relationship with Stamper.

         2. On July 10, 2016, Defendant was interviewed by Detectives Csapo and Grassi of the Delaware State Police (collectively the "Detectives").

         3. At the start of the interview, the Detectives advised Defendant of his Miranda rights.[1] Defendant initially agreed to give a statement to the Detectives.

         4. About halfway through the interview, Defendant stated, "Look, can I speak to an attorney." Defendant followed that request by stating, "I need to speak to an attorney."

         5. The Detectives did not immediately cease the interview. Instead, the Detectives informed Defendant that his statements conflicted with that of other witnesses and asked Defendant if he would like to keep talking to them. Defendant agreed to continue the interview.

         6. Shortly thereafter, Defendant again requested an attorney. Defendant told the Detectives, "An attorney be good." He followed that statement by stating, "I want an attorney, " three times.

         7. The Detectives again did not immediately cease the interview.

         8. On July 6, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to suppress contending that the Detectives violated his right to counsel and, therefore, that the State should be prohibited from using Defendant's interview during its case-in-chief. Defendant thereafter filed a supplement in support of the motion to suppress contending that the statement should also be excluded for impeachment purposes, 9. In its response, the State concedes that any statements made by Defendant after he first invoked the right to counsel should be suppressed. However, the State contends that any statements Defendant made prior to the first invocation are admissible in the State's case-in-chief. In addition, the State argues that the entire statement is admissible for impeachment purposes, if Defendant elects to testify and contradicts the statement he gave to the Detectives.

         10. Miranda requires that police questioning immediately cease if a defendant invokes the right to counsel.[2] After a defendant invokes the right to counsel, the defendant "is not subject to further interrogation by the authorities until counsel has been made available to him, unless the accused himself initiates further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police."[3]

         11. Any statements Defendant made after he first invoked the right to counsel must be suppressed. Upon Defendant's first requested for an attorney in this case, the Detectives were required to cease the interview until counsel was made available to Defendant. The Detectives failed to do so. Therefore, the State may not use any ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.