PEOPLE OF MI V MICHAEL LYNN HAWKINS JRAnnotate this Case
STATE OF MICHIGAN
COURT OF APPEALS
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
July 7, 1998
LC No. 94-012085
MICHAEL LYNN HAWKINS, JR,
Before: Wahls, P.J., and Jansen and Gage, JJ.
Defendant appeals as of right from his conviction and sentence of thirty-five to sixty years’
imprisonment for second-degree murder, MCL 750.317; MSA 28.549, entered after a jury trial. We
affirm. This appeal is being decided without oral argument pursuant to MCR 7.214(E).
On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in admitting a statement he made to police
in which he admitted to the killing. We disagree.
Failure to take a juvenile defendant immediately before the probate court, as required
by MCL 764.27; MSA 28.886 does not per se require suppression of a statement made by the
defendant. People v Good, 186 Mich App 180, 188; 463 NW2d 213 (1990). The proper test to
determine whether a juvenile’s confession is admissible is whether, under the totality of the
circumstances, the statement was made voluntarily. Id. Appropriate considerations include (1) whether
Miranda1 requirements have been met, (2) the degree of police compliance with the statute, (3) the
presence of an adult parent or guardian, and (4) the juvenile defendant’s personal background. Good,
supra. In addition, the court must consider the accused’s age, education, and intelligence, the length of
detention, the nature of the questioning, and whether the accused was injured, intoxicated, in ill health,
or threatened. Id., p 189.
The record shows that defendant was advised of his rights, and knowingly waived them.
Although police notified defendant’s mother, they conducted questioning prior to her arrival at police
headquarters. There is nothing in defendant’s background that would make the statement involuntary.
He was sixteen years old, in tenth grade, and relatively intelligent. He was larger than his interrogator
and unlikely to be physically intimidated. The length of detention was relatively short. There was no
repeated questioning, and defendant was not injured, intoxicated, in ill health or physically abused.
Under the totality of the circumstances, the trial court did not err in finding that defendant’s statement
was voluntary. Id.
Defendant next argues that his thirty-five- to sixty-year sentence is disproportionate, and that the
trial court failed to articulate sufficient reasons for departing from the sentencing guidelines range of
twelve to twenty-five years. We disagree.
“[T]he ‘key test’ of proportionality is not whether the sentence departs from or adheres to the
recommended range, but whether it reflects the seriousness of the matter.” People v Houston, 448
Mich 312, 320; 532 NW2d 508 (1995). Further, a trial court must place its reasons for departing from
the guidelines on the record at the time of sentencing. People v Fleming, 428 Mich 408, 428; 410
NW2d 266 (1987). Here, the trial court noted that defendant committed a brutal, senseless murder.
The trial court stated that the guidelines did not adequately take into account the dangerous nature of the
offense and the dangerous potential of defendant. This statement is sufficient to support the departure
from the sentencing guidelines and satisfies the articulation requirement. People v Watkins, 209 Mich
App 1, 6; 530 NW2d 111 (1995). Additionally, we find no abuse of discretion on behalf of the trial
court in sentencing defendant and find that the sentence imposed is proportionate to the seriousness of
the crime and the background of the offender. People v Milbourn, 435 Mich 630; 461 NW2d 1
/s/ Myron H. Wahls
/s/ Kathleen Jansen
/s/ Hilda R. Gage
Miranda v Arizona, 384 US 436; 86 S Ct 1602; 16 L Ed 2d 694 (1966).