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State v. Yonkman – Police Not Allowed to Initiate Conversation

State v. Yonkman 633 Ariz.Adv.Rep. 43 – This case supports Miranda and Edwards in that after a suspect invokes his Miranda rights, even after a multiple day break in the investigation, police are not allowed to initiate a conversation with the suspect, whether direct or indirect.

This case also found that pursuant to Rule 404(b) and (c), the admission of testimony about acquitted conduct is not barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause or the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution and is admissible. In this case, police arrested Mr. Yonkman on sexual misconduct allegations and he immediately invoked his right to counsel. Two days later, the alleged victim called police and recanted her initial allegations. It was at this time that the police told the alleged victim that they could close the case if Yonkman would undergo a polygraph test and give a statement.

The alleged victim indicated that she would pass this information on to Yonkman and the detective provided his contact information for the alleged victim to give to Yonkman. Later in the day, Yonkman contacted the detective and scheduled a meeting to provide information in order to close the case.

At the meeting the detective re-read Miranda and Yonkman admitted to touching the alleged victims breasts and vagina. He was again arrested. After litigation, Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals found that because the detective initiated the contact with Yonkman through the alleged victim, rather than Yonkman initiating contact with the detectives, the statements obtained must be suppressed.

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