FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Collier County; Ramiro
L. Dimmig, II, Public Defender, and Maureen E. Surber,
Assistant Public Defender, Bartow, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Christina Z.
Pacheco, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
KHOUZAM, CHIEF JUDGE.
Jose Barrientos, Jr., appeals his convictions and sentences
for first-degree murder and robbery with a deadly weapon,
arguing that the trial court erred in declining to suppress
his statements to police in their entirety. We affirm.
record shows that on December 30, 2008, Barrientos-a juvenile
at the time-showed up at a Collier County police substation
with his mother and sister to report that there had been a
death at Six L's Farm two days earlier. In the lobby of
the police station and then again after being invited into
the sergeant's office, Barrientos stated that he and his
friend had been involved in a man's death. He remembered
that they had disposed of the body, but he could not recall
exactly what had happened because he suffered from blackouts.
The detective "let him talk" and did not interrupt
or question him. The police did not have a record of any
incidents at Six L's Farm, so they called major crimes to
respond to the scene. Because at this point the police did
not know whether a crime had in fact occurred, the detective
did not give Barrientos Miranda warnings.
Although Barrientos was free to leave, he was not advised to
approximately half an hour, a detective from major crimes
arrived to talk to Barrientos. Barrientos' mother and
sister were asked to leave the room, to which no one
objected. When asked for permission to speak to Barrientos,
his mother stated, "[T]his is why I am here."
Barrientos was not Mirandized. This second statement took
place from 4:08 p.m. to 4:27 p.m. and was recorded. During
this interview, the detectives still had not determined
whether a crime had in fact been committed. However,
Barrientos confessed that his friend Jesus Garza planned to
kill a man named Don Berto-later identified as Roberto
Avalos-Jasso-and that Barrientos had helped him do it. Garza
had supplied Barrientos with a knife and socks to cover his
hands. They agreed on a code word to signal when to kill Don
Berto. The three men got into Garza's car, with Don Berto
in the front passenger seat and Barrientos in the back. Garza
said the code word, and Barrientos blacked out. The next
thing he remembered was that Don Berto was on the ground
outside the car bleeding from his neck. Barrientos and Garza
waited for Don Berto to die, then they grabbed his body and
disposed of it in the woods. After that, they cleaned
Garza's car. They disposed of the socks and clothes they
had worn as well as the towels they had used to clean the
car. Garza cleaned the knife and put it back in his house. He
also attempted to sell Don Berto's power saw and burn his
wallet. Barrientos gave the detective directions to where
they could find the body and the various pieces of evidence.
after this interview, the major crimes detective went to Six
L's Farm to investigate whether Barrientos' story was
true. The detective testified that when he exited the police
station, no one was left to guard Barrientos. The detective
found the crime scene and dead body as Barrientos had
described. It was at this point the detective "knew for
sure" a crime had been committed and they were looking
at more than just a "suspicious incident."
third interview took place later the same day from 7:25 p.m.
to 7:59 p.m. Barrientos was given Miranda warnings
and signed a waiver. During this interview, Barrientos stated
that he did not want to change his previous statement. He
repeated essentially the same story that he had already
given. Barrientos did make additional incriminating
statements as the interview continued, but these statements
were suppressed based on inappropriate comments made by the
detective. Although his motion to suppress was granted in
part, Barrientos contends that both his second and third
statements should have been suppressed in their entirety.
argues that his second statement to police should have been
suppressed because it was made under custodial interrogation
without Miranda warnings. Considering the unique
circumstances surrounding this statement, however, we
conclude that Barrientos was not in custody at the time and
that therefore Miranda warnings were not yet
warnings are not required for every potential suspect."
State v. Thompson, 193 So.3d 916, 920 (Fla. 2d DCA
2016) (citing Wright v. State, 161 So.3d 442, 448
(Fla. 5th DCA 2014)). Rather, "[t]he warnings apply only
to custodial interrogations," where an individual is
both in custody and under interrogation.
Id. "Absent one or the other, Miranda
warnings are not required." Id. (quoting
Davis v. State, 698 So.2d 1182, 1188 (Fla. 1997)).
purposes of Miranda, custody includes not only
formal arrest but also "any restraint on freedom of
movement [to] the degree associated with formal arrest."
Id. (quoting Ramirez v. State, 739 So.2d
568, 573 (Fla. 1999)). In determining whether a suspect is in
custody, courts apply a reasonable person test, focusing on
how a reasonable person in the suspect's position would
perceive the situation-not on the unarticulated plan of law
enforcement. Id. "Miranda warnings are
not required simply because the questioning takes place in
the station ...