North Dakota v. SpillumAnnotate this Case
Sean Spillum was convicted by jury of possession of certain materials prohibited. Spillum was under criminal investigation for uploading suspected child pornography to a cloud storage service. Officers interviewed Spillum on three separate occasions regarding electronic devices that were seized from Spillum’s home and the explicit material discovered on the devices. A day before his third interview, a warrant had been issued for Spillum’s arrest. Officers did not notify Spillum of the existence of the arrest warrant before or during the interview. At the beginning of the interview, the officers told Spillum he was not under arrest. Spillum was informed he was not required to speak with law enforcement or answer their questions. The officers offered to assist Spillum obtain an attorney at his request. Spillum did not request an attorney, and he answered the officers’ questions. At the end of the interview, officers informed Spillum he was not permitted to leave and placed him under arrest. Spillum argued on appeal that the State failed to establish the offense was committed within Ward County, North Dakota. Spillum also argued the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress because he was subject to a custodial interrogation and entitled to Miranda warnings after an arrest warrant had been issued. Finding no reversible error, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed Spillum's conviction.