State v. KazanasAnnotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of unauthorized entry into motor vehicle in the first degree. Before trial, the State filed a motion to determine the voluntariness of a statement Defendant made to the police. The circuit court granted in part and denied in part the State’s motion, finding that Defendant’s statement to a police officer that “I wouldn’t have to punch people if they didn’t upset me” was a voluntary statement and was admissible. The statement was made during the police officer’s “effort to make small talk and calm [Defendant] down.” The intermediate court of appeals affirmed, concluding that the absence of prior Miranda warnings by the police officer did not provide a basis to suppress Defendant’s “spontaneous and volunteered statement.” The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Defendant’s right against self-incrimination was violated because the police officer subjected Defendant, a person in custody pursuant to an arrest, to “interrogation” without the protection of a Miranda advisement; and (2) the circuit court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of 2006 prior bad acts. Remanded for a new trial.