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State v. Knowlton

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
34 A.3d 1139 (2012)


Facts

William Campbell, an agent with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) spoke to Scott Knowlton (defendant) whom he believed was engaged in drug trafficking operations. After being questioned by Campbell for a brief period of time in a police station interview room, Knowlton became upset and requested to speak with an attorney. Campbell immediately terminated the interview and placed Knowlton under arrest. A short time later, Campbell allowed Knowlton to speak with his mother and girlfriend. Campbell then transferred Knowlton by car to a jail approximately an hour away. During the trip, Campbell allowed Knowlton to use his cell phone to speak with his mother again. Knowlton also told Campbell that he wanted to cooperate but that he was scared. A few blocks from the jail, Campbell again informed Knowlton that if he wanted to talk with him after speaking to an attorney to just let him know. Knowlton then agreed to talk with Campbell without an attorney present. Instead of proceeding to the jail, Campbell drove to a nearby MDEA office where he prepared a written waiver of rights form to be signed by Knowlton. After signing the form, Knowlton made several incriminating statements. The time between Knowlton’s invoking his right to counsel and his subsequent written waiver was five hours. At no time did Knowlton confer with an attorney. Knowlton was indicted for aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, and illegal importation of scheduled drugs. Defense counsel filed a motion to suppress the statements Knowlton made to Campbell at the MDEA office. After a hearing, the trial court granted the motion. The State appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Levy, J.)

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