IN RE AARON GARCIAAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
May 26, 1998
Wayne Juvenile Court
LC No. 95-323313
Before: Hood, P.J., and MacKenzie and Doctoroff, JJ.
Following a bench trial, defendant, a juvenile, was found guilty of fourth-degree criminal sexual
conduct, MCL 750.520e(1); MSA 28.788(5)(1), and was placed on probation. Defendant appeals as
of right. We affirm.
Defendant challenges the trial court’s decision to admit into evidence statements he made about
the sexual assault when he was at a police station reporting an unrelated automobile accident.
Defendant contends that he was in custody at the time he made the statements and that he was not
advised of his Miranda rights [Miranda v Arizona, 384 US 436; 86 S Ct 1602; 16 L Ed 2d 694
(1966)]. The ultimate question whether a person was “in custody” for purposes of Miranda warnings
is a mixed question of fact and law that must be answered independently by the reviewing court after a
de novo review of the record. People v Mendez, 225 Mich App 381, 382; 571 NW2d 528 (1997).
Miranda warnings are required when a person is interrogated by police while in custody or otherwise
deprived of freedom of action in any significant manner. Id. To determine whether a defendant was “in
custody” at the time of the interrogation, this Court looks at the totality of the circumstances, with the
key question being whether the defendant reasonably believed that he was not free to leave. Id. at pp
Defendant was not in custody for Miranda purposes when he was questioned at the police
station. He voluntarily came to the police station on an unrelated matter the day after the victim
reported the assault. Coincidentally, the same police officer prepared both reports and recognized
defendant’s name from the victim’s report. After answering the police officer’s questions, defendant
was allowed to leave the police station. Because defendant was not in custody, he was not entitled to
be advised of his Miranda rights and his statements were not secured in violation of Miranda.
Defendant argues that he is entitled to a new trial because the trial court did not secure a
knowing and voluntary waiver of his right to a jury trial in accordance with MCR 6.402. However, the
right to a jury at trial in juvenile court is governed by MCR 5.911. Because defendant failed to file a
written demand for a jury trial in accordance with MCR 5.911(B), he has waived appellate review of
Defendant also argues that he was denied a fair trial when the trial court improperly
characterized his testimony. Defendant failed to preserve this issue for appellate review by objecting to
the trial court’s comments. People v Sardy, 216 Mich App 111, 117-118; 549 NW2d 23 (1996).
We decline to consider defendant’s argument because he has failed to demonstrate the existence of
plain error that was outcome determinative. People v Grant, 445 Mich 535, 553-554; 520 NW2d
/s/ Harold Hood
/s/ Barbara B. MacKenzie
/s/ Martin M. Doctoroff