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Court upholds suppression of mentally ill man’s confession

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Citing an inadequate Miranda warning and the mental illness a murder suspect has, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of the defendant’s motion to suppress confessions that he murdered two women. 

Indianapolis Police detective Michael Mitchell went to the New Castle Correctional Facility to interview DeAngelo Banks regarding a lead on DNA evidence. Mitchell was unaware that Banks has schizo affective disorder, that he was medicated at the time, and that, per a psychologist’s testimony, Banks had been “out of it” during that period he was interviewed.

Mitchell gave Banks a Miranda warning that did not clearly explain when Banks could request an attorney, and Banks agreed to talk. He confessed to killing two women in Indianapolis. He said he was under the influence of drugs and he’s been psychologically tormented.

Based on his testimony, the state charged Banks with murder in two separate cases. He filed a motion to suppress, which the trial court granted.

“Here, the trial court considered the evidence presented of Banks’s mental illness, heard Banks’s own testimony and came to the conclusion that his statement was not voluntary, and under our standard of review, we are bound to give this determination deference,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote in State of Indiana v. DeAngelo Banks, 49A02-1303-CR-235.

“We are therefore confronted with an inadequate Miranda warning to an undeniably and seriously mentally ill suspect who was in the area of the Newcastle Correctional Facility where the mentally ill are housed apart from the general prison population, who was involuntarily medicated at the time and in restraints even during the interrogation at issue. Yet, despite these compelling and compromising facts and circumstances, the State chose to interview Banks, and secured the confession we now review.

“There is substantial evidence supporting the trial court’s decision, and its decision is not contrary to law. Given our deferential standard of review, we affirm the trial court’s determination that Banks’s confession should be suppressed,” she wrote.
 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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