In Re L.I., 205 N.C. App. 155 (Jul. 6, 2010)

A juvenile’s statement, made while in custody, was the product interrogation and not a voluntary, spontaneous statement. The trial court thus erred by denying the juvenile’s motion to suppress the statement, since the juvenile had not advised her of her rights under Miranda and G.S. 7B-2101(a). The juvenile was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by an officer. When the officer ordered the juvenile out of the vehicle, he asked, “[Where is] the marijuana I know you have[?]” After handcuffing and placing juvenile in the back of the patrol car, the officer told her that he was going to "take her downtown" and that "if [she] t[ook] drugs into the jail it[] [would be] an additional charge." The juvenile later told the officer that she had marijuana and that it was in her coat pocket. The court went on to hold that the trial judge did not err by admitting the seized marijuana. Rejecting the juvenile’s argument that the contraband must be excluded as fruit of the poisonous tree, the court concluded that because there was no coercion, the exclusionary rule does not preclude the admission of physical evidence obtained as a result of a Miranda violation. Although the juvenile was in custody at the time of her statement and her Miranda rights were violated, the court found no coercion, noting that there was no evidence that the juvenile was deceived, held incommunicado, threatened or intimidated, promised anything, or interrogated for an unreasonable period of time; nor was there evidence that the juvenile was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or that her mental condition was such that she was vulnerable to manipulation.