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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.

 

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  • 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. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

    2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

    3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

    4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

    5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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