State v. Yancey, 221 N.C. App. 397 (2012)


The trial court did not err by denying the 17-year-old juvenile defendant’s motion to suppress his statement. Two plain-clothes detectives driving an unmarked car picked defendant up from his home and drove him 2 miles away where they questioned him about recent burglaries. Defendant rode in the front seat of the patrol car, and the detectives told him he was free to leave at any time and did not touch him. However, detectives showed defendant reports of the break-ins and told him that he would not be arrested “that day,” if he was cooperative. Defendant confessed. The appellate court held that the totality of the circumstances showed defendant was not in custody because he voluntarily spoke and rode with the officers, who said he was free to leave any time. Although defendant was 2 miles from home when he confessed, he sat in the front seat, and the encounter lasted under 2 hours. Defendant’s age did not alter the conclusion that he was not in custody where he was 17 and 10 months old at the time of the encounter.

Motions to Suppress
Custodial Interrogation
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