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State v. Edgar

Court of Appeals of Oregon

April 24, 2019

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
CALVIN DUANE EDGAR, Defendant-Appellant. 297 Or.App. 193

          Argued and submitted October 10, 2017

          Douglas County Circuit Court 14CR32904 William A. Marshall, Judge.

          Kyle Krohn, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. Also on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Andrew M. Lavin, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before DeHoog, Presiding Judge, and Egan, Chief Judge, and Aoyagi, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for delivery and possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.890; ORS 475.894, assigning error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress statements he made after a deputy belatedly read him Miranda warnings. Defendant argues that all of the questioning occurred during a single encounter fraught with coercion, and that because the statements went to one of the central factual issues-whether defendant delivered methamphetamine-the Court of Appeals must reverse his conviction for delivery of methamphetamine. The state concedes that defendant's pre-Miranda statement was inadmissible but contends that the belated Miranda warnings were effective and rendered all subsequent statements admissible. Held: The questioning in this case blended into a continuum, and the Miranda warnings were not effective at informing defendant of his rights under Article I, section 12. Therefore, the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to [297 Or.App. App. 194] suppress his statements, and that error was not harmless as to defendant's conviction for delivery of methamphetamine. Conviction for delivery of methamphetamine reversed and remanded; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affrmed.

         [297 Or.App. 195] EGAN, C. J.

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for delivery and possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.890; ORS 475.894, assigning error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress statements he made after a deputy belatedly read him Miranda warnings. The state concedes that defendant's -pre-Miranda statement was inadmissible but contends that the belated Miranda warnings were effective and rendered all subsequent statements admissible. Defendant argues that all of the questioning occurred during a single encounter fraught with coercion. Since the statements went to one of the central factual issues-whether defendant delivered methamphetamine-defendant argues that we must reverse his conviction for delivery of methamphetamine, ORS 475.890.[1] We agree with defendant, and thus, we reverse and remand that conviction; otherwise, we affirm.

         In reviewing the denial of a motion to suppress, we are bound by the trial court's factual findings if constitutionally sufficient evidence in the record supports them. State v. Ehly, 317 Or. 66, 74-75, 854 P.2d 421 (1993). We review the ultimate legal conclusions based on those findings for legal error. Id. at 75. "[I]f the trial court did not make findings on all pertinent historical facts and there is evidence from which those facts could be decided more than one way, we will presume that the trial court found facts in a manner consistent with its ultimate conclusion." State v. Stevens, 311 Or. 119, 127, 806 P.2d 92 (1991). We state the facts consistently with that standard.

         While Deputy Reavis was on patrol, the Reedsport Police Department told him that an anonymous caller had reported that defendant was en route to purchase [297 Or.App. 196] methamphetamine from two known drug dealers. Reavis saw defendant's car, and he began to follow it. Eventually, Reavis observed defendant fail to properly signal prior to making a turn, so Reavis called Deputy Pitcher to assist him in stopping defendant for that traffic violation.

         Reavis and Pitcher approached defendant's car together, with Reavis on the driver side and Pitcher on the passenger side. While Reavis explained the reason for the stop and asked defendant for his license, insurance, and registration, Pitcher looked in the passenger side window. On the passenger seat, he saw a plastic "sandwich" bag sticking out of a pocket of a pair of pants in a laundry hamper. The bag contained a white substance. Pitcher looked over the top of the car and told Reavis what he saw. Reavis asked defendant what was in the bag, and defendant responded by asking "What?" Pitcher pointed at the bag. Defendant placed his hand in the pocket of the pants in the hamper, pushed the bag deeper into the pocket, and then pushed the entire pair of pants down towards the bottom of the hamper. Defendant then asked, "What bag?"

         Reavis told defendant to step out of his vehicle. When defendant asked why, Reavis pointed his taser at defendant and again told him to get out of the car. Defendant said, "[O]kay, okay, don't shoot me," and Reavis told defendant "to cooperate and I won't." Defendant got out of the vehicle. Reavis told him to place his hands behind his back and then handcuffed him. Around the same time, Pitcher came around to the driver's side of the vehicle and asked defendant again what was in the bag. Defendant "told him that it was pills." At that point, Reavis gave defendant Miranda warnings and told him that he was "just being detained." Defendant said he understood the Miranda warnings.

         Reavis then asked defendant again what was in the bag. Defendant said "some pills, Tramadol and some others." Pitcher asked defendant about prescriptions for the pills, and defendant said that "none of the prescriptions he gets are strong enough." To Reavis, that indicated that the pills in the bag were not prescribed to defendant. Defendant then "started pleading" with the deputies and offered to work with them. Reavis told defendant that they first needed to [297 Or.App. 197] "deal with him and what * * * he's got going on with him." Reavis asked if there was anything else illegal in the car. Defendant said there was some "white dope in the pocket with the pills" and also that there was "white dope" in the pocket of the pants he was wearing. Reavis asked if there were any needles or knives in the car, and defendant said no. Reavis asked defendant when he had last used, and defendant said, "about two days ago." Reavis asked where defendant's pipe was, and defendant gestured to a yellow flashlight lying by the driver's seat. Defendant told Reavis that he could remove "the meth" from his pockets and the car, and that Reavis could retrieve the pipe. Ultimately, Reavis found ...


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