final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit;
Glenn D. Kelley, Judge; L.T. Case No.
D. Kay and Kevin J. Kulik of Kevin J. Kulik, P.A., Fort
Lauderdale, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Rachael Kaiman,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
was the chief financial officer and controller of a small
company. Over the course of several years, appellant
misappropriated more than $100, 000 in company funds for his
personal use. When the company's owners discovered this,
appellant confessed to stealing money from them. In order to
assist the owners with the investigation, appellant
participated in an interview with two Boca Raton Police
Department detectives. At that point, he was not under
arrest. He was subsequently charged with and adjudicated
guilty of one count of grand theft and one count of money
raises three issues on appeal, only one of which warrants
discussion. At trial, after one of the interviewing
detectives testified to the content of the police interview,
the state sought to play a recording of appellant's
interview for the jury. Appellant then objected, arguing that
he was entitled to a hearing outside the presence of the jury
regarding the voluntariness of his statement to the police.
The court denied appellant's request for a hearing, which
appellant argues constituted reversible error. Because the
objected-to recording was cumulative to the detective's
unobjected-to testimony, we affirm.
trial, the jury heard testimony from one of the Boca Raton
detectives who attended appellant's interview. She
described appellant as fairly candid and "eager to get
it off his chest" during the conversation. The detective
explained that appellant admitted to stealing from the
company in order to purchase a home. Appellant further
confessed to the detective that this use of company funds was
not authorized. During the interview, appellant explained how
he transferred money from one of the company's accounts
to another and then issued himself a cashier's check for
$45, 000 using the transferred funds. According to the
detective, appellant estimated that he had taken roughly
$125, 000 through money transfers like this.
the detective testified to this information, the state sought
to move a recording of the interview into evidence and play
the recording to the jury. At this point, appellant raised
for the first time an issue of voluntariness, asking for a
hearing on the voluntariness of his statements to the police.
The court overruled the objection and denied appellant's
request for a hearing.
court then allowed the state to play the recording to the
jury. In the recording, appellant admitted to taking funds
from the business without authorization and described the
process-previously testified to by the detective-by which he
did so. During the interview, appellant also described
additional unauthorized transactions that had not come up
during the detective's testimony. Finally, he gave the
$125, 000 estimate that the detective had mentioned during
appellant asserts a denial of due process in the form of a
voluntariness hearing, our standard of review is de novo.
Davis v. State, 227 So.3d 137, 139 (Fla. 4th DCA
Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368 (1964), the United
States Supreme Court established that a defendant who timely
raises the issue of the voluntariness of his confession is
entitled to an independent judicial determination of the
voluntariness before the jury hears the confession.
Id. at 376-77. Florida courts have applied this rule
to defendants who timely raise an issue of voluntariness.
See Guess v. State, 579 So.2d 339, 340 (Fla. 1st DCA
1991), aff'd State v. Guess, 613 So.2d 406 (Fla.
of course the better practice that a defendant seeking to
challenge the voluntariness of an inculpatory statement file
a pretrial motion to suppress pursuant to Florida Rule of
Criminal Procedure 3.190. See Smith v.
State, 695 So.2d 864, 865 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997) (holding
that trial court did not abuse discretion in denying request
for voluntariness hearing that was not timely raised). Still,
a defendant that does not file such a motion is entitled to a
hearing on voluntariness outside the presence of the jury if
he timely raises the issue.
no reversible error occurs when a defendant's
voluntariness objection pertains to evidence that is
duplicative of evidence already presented without objection.
See Mathew v. State, 209 So.2d 234, 235 (Fla. 2d DCA
1968). In Mathew, the Second District found no
reversible error when the defendant objected to the
voluntariness of his admissions but later took the stand ...