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Home / Opinions / Courts / Court of Appeals, Eastern District / Criminal Law : Jurors – Coercion – Confession

Criminal Law : Jurors – Coercion – Confession

(1)Where a juror was questioned by the trial court in a murder case and told to continue deliberations after she expressed fear about participating in the verdict, it was not clear from her exchange with the court whether the jury was split at that point because they were still discussing the case and deliberating, and the record did not support a finding that the trial court coerced the verdict by instructing the juror to be guided by the instructions.

(2)Where a defendant in a murder case sought to suppress his statements to detectives, arguing that he was deprived of food and sleep, intoxicated and grieving for his father, the two-hour interview was not unduly long and the defendant brought juice with him and refused additional offers of food and drink and did not appear to be intoxicated, so the confession was properly found to be knowing, intelligent and voluntary, and the defendant also failed to show that the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s request to remove statements from his videotaped statement.

(3)Where a defendant challenged the denial of his motion to waive counsel and proceed pro se, the defendant’s request was not unequivocal, so the court did not err in denying the motion.

Judgment is affirmed.

State v. Harris (MLW No. 68341/Case No. ED101654 – 25 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, Sullivan, J.) Appealed from circuit court, St. Louis City, Mullen, J. (Timothy Forneris for appellant) (Daniel N. McPherson for respondent).

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