Georgia v. PhilpotAnnotate this Case
Brandon Philpot and Travis Yarbrough were arrested for crimes associated with the shooting death of Aaron Holloway and the aggravated assault of four other victims during an armed robbery in 2010. Philpot was identified in a photo line-up by one of the victims. He was questioned for about an hour by detectives from the Atlanta Police Department, starting in an interview room at the police station and then continuing outside so Philpot could smoke a cigarette. The entire interview was audio recorded, apparently surreptitiously, with a device one of the detectives had on his person. Near the end of the interview, Philpot admitted that he helped Yarbrough commit the crimes by holding one of the victims at gunpoint. Philpot never signed a written waiver of his rights. Philpot and Yarbrough were later indicted for murder and other crimes. Philpot filed a motion to suppress the statement he gave when interrogated by the detectives. The trial court granted the suppression motion, ruling that Philpot had unequivocally invoked his right to counsel and had not thereafter reinitiated conversation with the officers or waived his right to counsel. The State appealed. But finding no error in the trial court's suppression decision, the Supreme Court affirmed.