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Texas v. Cobb

United States Supreme Court
532 U.S. 162 (2001)



Raymond Cobb (defendant) was suspected of burglarizing a home shared by Lindsey Owings, Margaret Owings, and the Owings's 16-month-old daughter. Margaret and the daughter were reported missing after the burglary. While Cobb was in custody on suspicion of unrelated crimes, Cobb confessed to the burglary but claimed to have no knowledge about the disappearances. Cobb was indicted for burglary, and a lawyer was appointed to represent Cobb on the burglary charge. After Cobb was released on bond, police received a call from Cobb’s father informing them that Cobb had confessed to killing Margaret Owings during the burglary. Police took Cobb into custody and administered Miranda warnings. Cobb waived his rights under Miranda and confessed to murdering Margaret Owings and her daughter. Cobb was convicted of capital murder. The appellate court reversed Cobb's conviction, finding that Cobb had invoked his Sixth Amendment right to counsel when he was taken into custody on the burglary charge and concluding that the right attached to any subsequent charges bearing a close factual relationship to the burglary. The appellate court thus ruled that Cobb's confession was inadmissible. The State of Texas (plaintiff) petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review, and the Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Breyer, J.)

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