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. Wirkkala

Court of Appeals of Oregon

February 14, 2018

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
LUKE ANTON WIRKKALA, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted June 21, 2016.

         Deschutes County Circuit Court 13FE0170; Stephen P. Forte, Judge. (Judgment) Wells B. Ashby, Judge. (Amended Judgment)

          David O. Ferry, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Peenesh Shah, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Paul L. Smith, Deputy Solicitor General.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Lagesen, Judge, and Garrett, Judge.

         Case Summary: Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for murder, ORS 163.115, assigning error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress statements that he made during a police interrogation. Defendant argues that the trial court erred in admitting the statements because the detective elicited them by continuing to interrogate defendant after he had invoked his right to counsel. The state does not dispute that defendant invoked his right to counsel, but argues that defendant then waived that right by immediately answering the detective's preliminary question that defendant had left unanswered moments earlier. The state also contends that any error by the trial court was harmless. Held: The trial court erred in failing to suppress the statements because defendant invoked his right to counsel and did not reinitiate the interrogation by answering the detective's preliminary question. Further, the error was not harmless because [290 Or.App. 264] the evidence was not cumulative of other evidence and was important to whether the jury believed the defendant's self-defense theory.

         [290 Or.App. 265]GARRETT, J.

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for murder, ORS 163.115. In his first two assignments of error, defendant challenges the trial court's exclusion of evidence that, according to defendant, was relevant to his theory of self-defense. In his third assignment of error, he challenges the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress statements that defendant made in a police interrogation. As to that issue, we agree with defendant that police impermissibly continued their interrogation after defendant invoked his right to counsel, that the trial court therefore erred in denying the motion to suppress, and that the error was not harmless. That conclusion obviates the need to address defendant's other assignments of error. Accordingly, we reverse and remand.

         We review for legal error whether defendant invoked his right to counsel. State v. Sanelle, 287 Or.App. 611, 613, 404 P.3d 992 (2017), rev den, ___Or ___(2018). We limit our discussion to the record developed at the pretrial hearing, State v. Pitt, 352 Or. 566, 575, 293 P.3d 1002 (2012), and are bound by the trial court's findings if they are supported by evidence in the record. Sanelle, 287 Or.App. at 613.

         The murder charge arose from the shooting death of the victim at defendant's house. It is undisputed that, after defendant and the victim spent an evening drinking together, defendant shot and killed the victim.

         The police interrogation took place at the police station on the night of the shooting, and involved defendant, Officer Hatoor, and Detective Knea. Knea began by reading defendant his Miranda rights. Knea then began asking what he described to defendant as "preliminary" questions, which defendant answered. After approximately five minutes, the following exchange occurred:

" [DEFENDANT]: We moved here in May.
"DETECTIVE KNEA: That was going to be my next question. Okay. Who else is-so there's another male that was at the house. What's his name?
"[DEFENDANT]: (Pause.) What was his name?
[290 Or.App. 266] "DETECTIVE KNEA: Yeah.
"OFFICER HATOOR: What was his name?
"[DEFENDANT]: I appreciate the hospitality here, fellas, but I think I'm going to get a lawyer.
"DETECTIVE KNEA: Okay. Well, that's obviously something that you have a right to, like I said, okay?
"[DEFENDANT]: His name was [the victim].
"DETECTIVE KNEA: And-and I-I understand that there's probably a little bit of trepidation about talking to me, okay? However, I don't know what happened, dude, at all.
"[DEFENDANT]: Well, [n]either do ...

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.