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Commonwealth v. Pacheco

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Bristol

April 17, 2015

Commonwealth
v.
Michael Pacheco

Argued December 4, 2014.

Complaint received and sworn to in the Bristol County Division of the Juvenile Court Department on September 28, 2012.

Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 1, 2012.

A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by Lawrence Moniz, J., in the Bristol County Division of the Juvenile Court Department.

An application for leave to prosecute an interlocutory appeal was allowed by Barbara A. Lenk, J., in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, and the appeal was reported by her to the Appeals Court.

Tara L. Blackman, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

Joseph Maggiacomo, III, for the juvenile.

Present: Cohen, Fecteau, & Massing, JJ.

OPINION

[28 N.E.3d 1174] Massing, J.

Following the execution of a search warrant, resulting in the discovery of a handgun and several bags of heroin in the defendant youthful offender's bedroom, the Taunton police arrested the juvenile and took him to the police station to question him about his suspected involvement in a shooting that took place on the railroad tracks near his home. Because he was sixteen years old, the police arranged for the juvenile's guardian to be present during questioning. A Juvenile Court judge found that the

Page 287

juvenile validly waived his Miranda rights at the outset of questioning, but that the police failed to honor his mid-interview request to consult with his guardian. Accordingly, the judge denied the juvenile's motion to suppress statements made during the first part of the interview, but allowed the motion with respect to statements made after his request to consult. We affirm.

Background.

The facts found by the judge at the hearing on the motion to suppress, as amplified by uncontested evidence presented at the hearing and by the contents of the videotaped interview,[1] are as follows. On September 22, 2012, at approximately 8:30 p.m., two Taunton police officers went to the apartment where the juvenile lived with his guardian, Crystal Courtney,[2] to execute a search warrant for [28 N.E.3d 1175] a firearm as part of an investigation into a shooting. After discovering a handgun and several glassine bags containing a substance that appeared to be heroin in the juvenile's bedroom, the officers arrested the juvenile and transported him to the police headquarters for questioning. The police advised Ms. Courtney that she could accompany the juvenile, who was sixteen years, ten months old at the time, to the station to act as an interested adult and brought her to the police station shortly after the juvenile's arrival.

At approximately 11:06 p.m., Detective Lynne Pina commenced a videorecorded interrogation of the juvenile in a small interview room at the station, assisted by Brian Dunham, another officer from the department. Pina gave the juvenile and Ms. Courtney a notification of rights form, read them the Miranda rights from the form, and gave them an opportunity to read it themselves. Neither Pina nor Dunham left the room. Without requesting an opportunity to speak to each other in private, the juvenile and his guardian signed the rights form.

Pina began the interview by questioning the juvenile about the night of the shooting. He initially denied any involvement. At approximately 11:31 p.m., ...


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