Father’s confession shouldn’t have been admitted at trial

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a father’s conviction of child molesting related to his daughter, finding his confession, which was admitted into evidence at trial, was obtained in violation of Miranda protocol.

Detectives from Carroll and White counties went to Ryan Bean’s Lafayette home to speak with him about molestation allegations made by his daughter, H.B., and his niece, M.S. But police told Bean that they wanted to speak with him about an investigation into possession of child pornography. Bean agreed to go to the Lafayette Police station to speak about the child pornography allegations and “something else.” He was not arrested at this time.

He was at the station for more than an hour when police switched their interrogation from the pornography investigation to the claims made by his daughter and niece. Bean had already signed his Miranda rights waiver and was informed he could leave the building if he wanted. Several times, Bean asked about needing a lawyer, and he said he wanted to have a lawyer. The detectives did not stop questioning and eventually Bean confessed to molesting the girls.

He was charged in Carroll County with three counts of Class A felony child molesting of H.B. He was charged in White County with one count of Class A felony child molesting of H.B. The trials involving M.B. are not at issue on appeal. Bean tried to suppress his confession, which was denied. He was convicted in Carroll County of just one count, and convicted in White County on the count charged.

The Court of Appeals found itself in agreement with the 7th, 10th and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in that although the giving of Miranda warnings should not automatically render a suspect in custody, neither should the giving of such warnings be irrelevant in deciding whether one was in custody.

The judges concluded that Bean was in custody when he finally confessed, even if he was not formally arrested at the time, and even if he had been technically told he was free to leave the station at any time and not speak with police, Judge Michael Barnes wrote in Ryan E. Bean v. State of Indiana, 91A02-1109-CR-906.

Bean was taken to the station by police, the officers who spoke to him at his house didn’t tell Bean the real reason they wanted to speak with him, and the questioning in this case was aggressive and lengthy. The crucial factor indicating Bean was in custody was that he had been advised of his right to remain silent and have an attorney, he invoked those rights, and police continued questioning him anyway.

The appellate court rejected the state’s claims that Bean did not unambiguously invoke his right to counsel or that the trial court admittance of the confession was a harmless error. The judges reversed Bean’s convictions in both counties. The state may retrial Bean if it so chooses.



  • Life time of Pain
    Because of the stupidity of the police station, a young girl is never going to get the justice she deserves. How do they think she is going to go on in life know that some one could get away with hurting her. And since he was acquitted the stupid law is probly not going to keep him away from her, only for her to endure more abuse.

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    1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

    2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

    3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

    4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

    5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues