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Scotsman v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

February 21, 2018


         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Raag Singhal, Judge; L.T. Case No. 12007884CF10A.

          Carey Haughwout, Public Defender, and Paul Edward Petillo, Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Jessenia J. Concepcion, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.

          Klingensmith, J.

         Appellant, Antonnine Scotsman, appeals his convictions and sentences for three counts of armed robbery and one count of aggravated assault. He claims detectives violated his Miranda rights by continuing to engage with him after he invoked his right to counsel, which led to a confession that was used against him at trial. We agree and reverse.

         Almost two weeks after appellant was taken into custody for an unrelated offense, the investigating detective visited appellant at the housing facility to ask if he had any information about an armed robbery. Appellant was not a suspect at the time. One week later, appellant and other individuals were transferred to the Broward County Sheriff's Office for questioning as possible suspects in the crime. When they arrived, they were placed in separate interrogation rooms.

         Videotapes and voice recordings from the interrogation rooms allow us to understand what occurred there. The lead detective, along with a second detective, entered the interrogation room, and initiated a conversation explaining the need to go over the Miranda waiver form again before continuing to speak with appellant. The lead detective started by asking appellant for his name. When the detective was unable to understand his response, appellant asked, "[T]hey sending me a lawyer?" The detective then explained, if "you want to at any time like I told you before, you can say let's stop right now." The detective further clarified, "You don't want to do it this time? This is very important, man." The detective said he could not force appellant to talk, but showed appellant pictures of the other suspects and said, "They're talking. First one talks, deals."

         Before leaving the interrogation room, the second detective asked appellant if he knew how much time he was facing, and both detectives commented on appellant's young age. When appellant asked what he was facing, the lead detective told him, "Good luck to you man. These guys already talk. All right. So don't say I didn't give you a chance." Appellant asked for a second time what he was facing, at which time the lead detective pointed to a picture of one of the other suspects and said:

I'm going to tell you [what I] was telling you about, it was him [calling you], you know how I know? He already told me. Okay? All right?
No more breaks after this. The gloves come off. After we leave here, today it's a done deal. I'm not going to be friendly anymore. Because he told me--

         After appellant attempted to respond, the lead detective said, "Man, you got some explaining to do, " and told appellant he was going to be "charged with armed robbery with a firearm . . . . You might not be coming home anytime soon." Appellant was then given a cellphone and left alone in the room to call his grandmother. He talked with her for approximately fourteen minutes before the lead detective abruptly re-entered the interrogation room and took the phone, leaving the room once again. Appellant was left alone in the interrogation room for about forty minutes until another officer came in. At that point, appellant asked to use the bathroom, and complained about the temperature in the interrogation room. After the officer departed, appellant was left alone in the room once more.

         An hour later, appellant repeatedly knocked on the door, and appeared visibly in need of the bathroom. Appellant attempted to get the attention of an officer for two minutes before urinating in the corner of the interrogation room. An officer responded to appellant's knocking a short time later, and told him that they would clean it up. After this, appellant was, again, left alone in the interrogation room.

         Two hours later an officer checked on appellant and told him they were "almost done." Appellant was left alone in the room once again. Another hour passed before an officer opened the door to the interrogation room and asked appellant if he needed to use the bathroom before departing. Thirty minutes later, the lead detective re-entered the room and told appellant they would feed him before taking him back to jail. As he escorted appellant from the interrogation room, the detective said, "I know you asked for your ...

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