State v. Caudill, 227 N.C. App. 119 (May. 7, 2013)

(1) The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to suppress statements to officers on grounds that they were obtained in violation of G.S. 15A-501(2) (arrested person must be taken before a judicial official without unnecessary delay). After a consensual search of his residence produced controlled substances, the defendant and three colleagues were arrested for drug possession. The defendant, who previously had waived his Miranda rights, was checked into the County jail at 11:12 am. After again being informed of his rights, the defendant was interviewed from 1:59 pm to 2:53 pm and made incriminating statements about a murder. After the interview the defendant was taken before a magistrate and charged with drug offenses and murder. The defendant argued that the delay between his arrival at the jail and his initial appearance required suppression of his statements regarding the murder. The court noted that under G.S. 15A-974(2), evidence obtained as a result of a substantial violation of Chapter 15A must be suppressed upon timely motion; the statutory term “result” indicates that a causal relationship between a violation of the statute and the acquisition of the evidence to be suppressed must exist. The court concluded that the delay in this case was not unnecessary and there was no causal relationship between the delay and defendant’s incriminating statements made during his interview. The court rejected the defendant’s constitutional arguments asserted on similar grounds.