State v. Hickman

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 12-28-2017
  • Case #: A160638
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: James, J. for the Court; Egan, P.J.; & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When a suspect equivocally invokes their Article 1 Section 12 rights, law enforcement must immediately stop interrogating the suspect in order to ask clarifying questions about the suspect's potential invocation of his or her constitutional rights. State v. Schrepfer, 288 Or App 429, 436 (2017).

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction of manslaughter with a firearm in the first-degree, ORS 163.118. Defendant assigned error to the trial court's denial of the motion to suppress statements made after he invoked right to counsel. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion because the detectives continued to question him after he had requested counsel. In response, State argued that the trial court  ruled correctly because the Defendant waived his right to counsel and voluntarily initiated the contested portions of the conversation. State alternatively argued that if the trial court erred, it was harmless. When a suspect equivocally invokes their Article  1 Section 12 rights,  law enforcement must immediately stop interrogating the suspect in order to ask clarifying questions about the suspect's potential invocation of his or her constitutional rights. State v. Schrepfer, 288 Or App 429, 436 (2017). The Court of Appeals held that that Defendant equivocally invoked his Article 1 section 12 rights, and that the detectives improperly continued their line of questioning. The Court further held that Defendant neither waived his right to counsel, nor did he reinitiate the conversation with the detectives. Lastly, the Court held that the trial court's denial of Defendant's motion did not constitute harmless error. Reversed and Remanded.

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