United States v. Loukas

29 M.J. 385 (1990)

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United States v. Loukas

United States Court of Military Appeals
29 M.J. 385 (1990)

Facts

While on a military flight from Panama to Bolivia to pick up cargo, Airman John Loukas (defendant) began acting irrationally, having hallucinations, and perspiring despite the cool temperature. The flight’s crew chief knew that Loukas had been out late the night before and questioned Loukas about what drugs he had taken. Loukas initially denied taking any drugs. However, concerned about the safety of Loukas, the rest of the flight crew, and the aircraft, the crew chief continued to question Loukas. Loukas eventually admitted that he had taken cocaine. Loukas was later charged with using cocaine and tried by court-martial. Loukas moved to suppress his statement to the crew chief. Loukas argued that the statement was inadmissible because the crew chief had questioned Loukas without first giving him an Article 31 warning about (1) the nature of the accusation against him and (2) Loukas’s right to refuse to make a statement. The suppression motion was denied, and the statement was admitted at trial. Loukas was convicted. The Court of Military Review found that Loukas’s statement to the crew chief was inadmissible without an Article 31 warning and set aside the conviction. The government (plaintiff) appealed to the Court of Military Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sullivan, J.)

Concurrence (Cox, J.)

Dissent (Everett, C.J.)

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