Carter v. Colorado

Parish Carter was charged with two counts of first degree murder, bribing a witness, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, intimidation of a witness, and unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, all in connection with the drive-by shooting deaths of Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancée Vivian Wolfe, the week before Marshall-Fields was to testify in a prosecution of Carter’s stepbrother, Robert Ray, for an earlier murder. Carter was acquitted of first degree murder and of bribing a witness but convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and the remaining charges. He was sentenced to 48 years for conspiracy and to consecutive lesser terms of incarceration for his other convictions, for a total sentence of 70 years. Carter petitioned for review of the court of appeals judgment affirming his conviction of conspiracy to commit first degree murder. With regard to a videotaped interrogation by the police, the district court denied a motion to suppress the defendant’s statements, rejecting all of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment claims, including his assertion that he had not been adequately advised of his right to have an attorney present during interrogation; and it denied the defendant’s motion to limit access to that videotape during jury deliberations. In a fractured opinion, in which all three members of the division of the court of appeals wrote separately, the appellate court affirmed with regard to both of these assignments of error. Because the Miranda advisement of the defendant reasonably conveyed that he had a right to consult with counsel, both before and during any interrogation by the police, and because the district court did not abuse its discretion in permitting the jury unrestricted access to both a video recording and transcript of the defendant’s custodial interrogation, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals. View "Carter v. Colorado" on Justia Law