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State v. Parlier

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

March 7, 2017


          Heard in the Court of Appeals 26 January 2017.

         Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 7 January 2016 by Judge Yvonne Mims Evans in Caldwell County Superior Court Nos. 14CRS50379, 14CRS51107.

          Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, by Assistant Attorney General Tracy Nayer, for the State.

          Gillette Law Firm, PLLC, by Jeffrey William Gillette, for defendant-appellant.

          BERGER, JUDGE.

         On January 7, 2016, a Caldwell County jury convicted Allen Duane Parlier ("Defendant") of statutory rape and indecent liberties with a child. Defendant appeals, alleging these convictions should be reversed because his confession was obtained in violation of Miranda, and that he should have been allowed to interrogate the victim regarding her general sexual history contrary to the Rape Shield Law. We disagree.

         Factual Background

         Caldwell County Detective Shelley Hartley was assigned to investigate a report from July 23, 2013, concerning an incident between Defendant and the parents of a 15-year-old girl, Cindy.[1] When Cindy's parents discovered that the 41-year-old Defendant had been having sex with their daughter, Defendant fled to avoid a physical confrontation. Detective Hartley was unable to locate Defendant during her investigation, and advised Defendant's mother that she would like to speak with him.

         On February 10, 2014, nearly seven months later, Defendant called Detective Hartley and left a voicemail message for her. Detective Hartley made contact with Defendant that same day, and she requested that he come speak with her at the Caldwell County Sheriff's Department. No warrant or other criminal process had been issued for Defendant, and no one from the Sheriff's Department transported him to meet Detective Hartley. Defendant traveled to the Sheriff's Department voluntarily.

         Detective Hartley met Defendant in the Sheriff's Department lobby, identified herself, and advised that she was a detective. She was not dressed in a patrol uniform, but in plain clothes, and her weapon, although on her person, was not visible.

         Detective Hartley requested that Defendant come talk with her, and Defendant followed her to an interview room. The two proceeded down a long hallway with at least two secure doors which prevented public access into the investigations division. The hallway doors were not locked and did not prevent egress from the Sheriff's Department. Defendant was not placed under arrest at that time, and he was never told that he was not free to leave. The door to the interview room was closed because of noise in the hallway, but it was not locked. Detective Hartley did not advise Defendant of his Miranda rights.

         Detective Hartley and Defendant spoke for approximately 25 minutes in the interview room. During this time, Defendant never requested food or water, never requested an attorney, and never indicated that he was uncomfortable or needed a break. Further, Defendant never requested to leave the interview room. Prior to entering the interview room, Defendant only stated that he had been sick, but there was no evidence of illness or discomfort during the interview.

         Defendant's interview with Detective Hartley was videotaped and later transcribed for use at trial. Defendant admitted that he and Cindy had sexual intercourse on six different occasions. Detective Hartley arrested Defendant at the conclusion of the interview.

         Cindy testified at trial that the two began exchanging text messages of a sexual nature in June 2013. Initially, they met and kissed, but soon thereafter, Defendant went to Cindy's home and performed oral sex on her and then gave her marijuana. The following day, Cindy went to Defendant's mother's trailer home where they had sexual intercourse in his mother's room. Defendant's sexual relationship with the 15-year-old lasted until late July 2013, when Cindy's parents discovered the relationship and reported it to law enforcement.

         During the investigation, Cindy told Detective Hartley that she could not remember how many times she and Defendant had sex, but it was at least one time per day, each weekday, from the end of June until July 22, 2013. During this time, Defendant provided Cindy with gifts and drugs. Cindy testified that she never wanted to tell anyone about the relationship because she "didn't want to disappoint him."

         Cindy testified that she informed Defendant that she was 15 years old before they engaged in sexual activity. Defendant told Cindy that "he was risking a lot to do it with [her] and that, if he ever was caught, he would go to jail."

         Procedural ...

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