US v Bell 4th CIR (28AUG2018)

US v Bell 4th CIR (28AUG2018)

While executing a premises search warrant, police detained the defendant and his wife (who owned the house).  The LEOs asked the wife if there were any weapons in the house that could hurt and officer. The defendant, sitting next to the wife,  immediately responded that there was a gun under the couch that a friend had given him.  The search revealed illegal drugs in the house.  At trial, the defendant sought to have his statements suppressed since he was not Mirandized when the question was posed.   The defendant further argued that, although the LEO asked the question to his wife, that it was the “functional equivalent” of interrogation and was reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from him. The Eighth Circuit disagreed and affirmed the District Court’s denial of the motion to suppress.

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