In re D.A.C., 225 N.C. App. 547 (Feb. 19, 2013)

The trial court did not err by denying a fourteen-year-old juvenile’s motion to suppress his oral admissions to investigating officers. The motion asserted that the juvenile was in custody and had not been advised of his rights under Miranda and G.S. 7B-2101. The court found that the juvenile was not in custody. Responding to a report of shots fired, officers approached the juvenile’s home. After speaking with the juvenile’s parents, the juvenile talked with the officers and admitted firing the shots. Among other things, the court noted that the juvenile was asked—not instructed—to step outside the house, the officers remained at arm’s length, one of the officers was in plain clothes, and the conversation took place in an open area of the juvenile’s yard while his parents were nearby, it occurred in broad daylight, and it lasted about five minutes. The court rejected the notion that fact that the juvenile’s parents told him to be honest with the officers compelled a different conclusion.