and submitted October 13, 2016
appeal from an order of the Hood River County Circuit Court
under ORS 138.060(2)(a) and ORAP 12.07, CC 140066CR [*]
M. Petrina, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the
cause and fled the briefs for the petitioner on review. Also
on the briefs were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and
Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.
Fujita Munsey, Deputy Public Defender, Salem, argued the
cause and fled the brief for the respondent on review. Also
on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Offce of
Public Defense Services.
Defendant was indicted for murder and moved to suppress
statements that he made during a custodial interrogation,
citing a violation of his right against compelled
self-incrimination under Article I, section 12, of the Oregon
Constitution. The trial court granted defendant's motion,
reasoning that defendant had made an equivocal invocation of
that right, but the interrogating detectives had failed to
clarify that invocation, which required suppression of the
resulting statements. The state appealed directly to the
Oregon Supreme Court.
(1) A reasonable law enforcement officer would have
understood that defendant had invoked his right against
compelled self-incrimination under Article I, section 12; (2)
Because defendant unequivocally invoked that right, the
detectives were required to cease the interrogation, and
their contrary actions violated Article I, section 12; and
(3) the trial court therefore did not err in granting
defendant's motion to suppress the interview statements
that he made following his invocation.
BALMER, C. J.
case involves the state's appeal of a pretrial order
suppressing evidence in a pending murder prosecution, ORS
138.060(2)(a). The trial court determined that, near the
beginning of a custodial interrogation, defendant equivocally
invoked his right against compelled self-incrimination under
Article I, section 12, of the Oregon Constitution, but law
enforcement failed to clarify defendant's intent as to
that invocation and, instead, continued the interrogation.
The court concluded that the failure to clarify had violated
Article I, section 12, and it therefore suppressed
defendant's invocation and all the statements that he had
made thereafter. We affirm, but on different grounds: We
conclude that defendant unequivocally invoked his right
against compelled self-incrimination and, therefore, the
interrogation should have ended when defendant made that
facts are undisputed. Defendant's girlfriend, who was also
the mother of his then-infant daughter, died in 2009 when she
fell during a hike with defendant in the Columbia River
Gorge. The investigation into the cause of her fall proceeded
slowly. In the meantime, defendant continued to live in
Oregon for several years; he then traveled with his daughter
to work in China, staying for 18 months.
2014, while defendant was still in China, prosecutors secured
a secret indictment in the Hood River County Circuit Court,
charging defendant with murder. A judge immediately issued a
warrant for defendant's arrest. In early 2015, defendant
was located and detained at the San Francisco International
Airport after arriving there on an overseas flight from
China, en route to Oregon, with his daughter. Two detectives
from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office responded and
took over the investigation. At some point, defendant was
handcuffed and remained so for several hours. He also had not
slept for an extended period of time.
detectives then interviewed defendant, who apparently was
still handcuffed. At the outset of the interview, the lead
detective, Matsuura, introduced himself and the other
detective, and stated that defendant was not free to leave.
Matsuura then read defendant his Miranda rights,
which defendant indicated that he understood. Matsuura began
the interview by explaining that the airport fell within the
jurisdiction of his office and that, when individuals are
arrested at the airport, his office interviews them before
lodging them in the county jail. Defendant did not respond to
that explanation. The following back-and-forth then ensued
between Matsuura and defendant:
"DET. MATSUURA: *** Have you been told why you're in
"DET MATSUURA: Okay You have a warrant for your arrest.
"[DEFENDANT]: From where?
"DET. MATSUURA: The state of Oregon.
"DET. MATSUURA: Homicide.
"DET. MATSUURA: Homicide. Do you have any idea what