Defendant was indicted for second degree murder, second degree assault, and second degree weapon possession in connection with a shooting in Brooklyn. One man was shot to death and another was wounded. Thereafter, the Defendant was arrested for a drug crime in Manhattan where he was represented by counsel for the drug charge.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said the Detective from Brooklyn traveled to Manhattan to “pick up” Defendant and bring him to the precinct in Brooklyn for a lineup. Before these lineups, at about 9:00 P.M., Miranda warnings were issued to defendant, who claimed that he knew nothing about the shooting; after the lineups, the Brooklyn Detective advised defendant that he was “charged with homicide.”
Thereafter, they escorted defendant back to Manhattan for his arraignment for the drug crime. After defendant was arraigned and released on his own recognizance, the Brooklyn Detective arrested him for homicide to be brought back later on to the Brooklyn Precinct. The Detectives then took Defendant back to where he had been sitting in the courtroom because “the attorney . . . wanted to speak to him.” They also testified that he overheard the counsel tell defendant that he was “not going across the bridge into Brooklyn to represent him,” and that he didn’t “represent him in the other case. He represents him in the drug case. He’ll have an attorney for his new case in Brooklyn. He also said, I advise you not to speak to the police because I can’t tell you that you cannot speak to the police but I’m advising you not to.”
Upon arrival, defendant announced to the Detectives that he wanted to talk about what happened. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the Detective contacted the assistant district attorney on duty to “make sure that defendant’s right to counsel didn’t attach because of the Manhattan drug case.” The prosecutor advised the Detective that he could speak to defendant “because he did not have counsel attached in this case. He had counsel attached in the drug case.”
Before questioning Defendant, he was reminded that he was still under the Miranda warnings that was issued earlier.” Thereafter, defendant admitted to shooting — first with a shotgun, until it jammed, and then with a handgun, until it, too, became inoperable — in the direction of the door at the Bainbridge Street building, causing those standing on the front stoop to scatter or run inside. Defendant then repeated substantially the same statement on videotape to an assistant district attorney. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said at the beginning of the videotaped statement, defendant again waived his Miranda rights; near the end, he answered “No” when asked if he was represented by a lawyer in the homicide case.
Thus, at issue was whether the appellate court erred in denying defendant’s motion to suppress inculpatory statements that he made to the police, after defendant was arraigned and released on his own recognizance for the drug charge and the Brooklyn Detectives arrested him for the “homicide,” on the ground that they were obtained in violation of his right to counsel. Defendant contends that his counsel’s neglect to “specify” to the detectives whether he represented defendant in “the drug case or the homicide case or both,” created an ambiguity causing the indelible right to counsel to attach.
The court concluded that it had never held that an attorney could unilaterally create an attorney-client relationship in a criminal proceeding in this fashion, and declined to do so now. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the court also concluded that counsel made no statements during the arraignment on the drug crime even arguably related to the homicide and there was no ambiguity about whether defendant could have intended to invoke his right to counsel before making the inculpatory statements.
Therefore, the court affirmed the order of the appellate court and held that nothing about defendant’s conduct suggested that he meant to invoke his right to counsel before he made the statements and counsel had not already conspicuously represented defendant in an aspect of the homicide matter, causing the indelible right to attach.
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