Georgia v. ChulpayevAnnotate this Case
In 2013, a grand jury indicted Mani Chulpayev for the murder of Melvin Vernell, III and related crimes. The indictment also charged four other men, including Decensae White and Gary Bradford, with the murder and related crimes. Chulpayev filed a pretrial motion to suppress statements that he made during interviews with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and Sandy Springs Police Department (SSPD) officers on July 30, 2012, October 24, 2012, and April 12, 2013, raising claims under both OCGA 24-8-824 and the Constitution. After a four-day evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted the suppression motion as to the July and October 2012 interviews, ruling that Chulpayev’s statements were involuntary and thus inadmissible under section 24-8-824. But the court denied the motion as to the April 2013 interview, ruling that Chulpayev’s statements after his arrest that day were not involuntary under 24-8-824 and that any taint from his previous statements had been eradicated. In Case No. S14A1375, the State appealed the partial grant of Chulpayev’s suppression motion; the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's rulings based on OCGA 24-8-824. In Case No. S14X1376, Chulpayev cross-appealed the partial denial of the suppression motion. In that case, the Georgia Supreme Court concluded that the trial court erred in its taint analysis, although it ultimately reached the right result as to Chulpayev’s statutory claim because statements that are inadmissible under 24-8-824 do not taint evidence derived therefrom. The trial court did not decide whether
Chulpayev’s statements were obtained in violation of his constitutional rights, however, so the Court vacated the trial court’s judgment as to the April 2013 statements. The case was remanded for the trial court to rule on the constitutional claim.