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Texas v. Cobb

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


Raymond Cobb (defendant) was suspected of burglary and the disappearance of Margaret Owings and her daughter. While in custody on suspicion of unrelated crimes, Cobb confessed to the burglary but claimed to have no knowledge about the disappearances. Cobb was appointed legal counsel after being indicted for burglary. After Cobb was released on bond, police received a call from Cobb’s father informing them that Cobb had confessed to killing Owings during the burglary. Police took Cobb into custody and administered Miranda warnings. Cobb waived his right to counsel and confessed to murdering Owings and her daughter. Cobb was convicted. The appellate court reversed, finding that Cobb had invoked his Sixth Amendment right to counsel when 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 deemed Cobb’s waiver of counsel at the murder interrogation ineffective and ruled his confession inadmissible. The State of Texas (plaintiff) petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

Concurrence (Kennedy, J.)

Dissent (Breyer, J.)

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