Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Michael Van Belt, Jr.,
Filed December 9, 1997
Ramsey County District Court
File No. K6-96-2488
Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney, Mark Nathan Lystig, Assistant County Attorney, 50 Kellogg Boulevard West, Suite 315, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for Respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Susan Maki, Assistant State Public Defender, Suite 600, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for Appellant)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Harten, Judge.
Michael Van Belt appeals from his conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.342, subd. 1(d) (1996) (sexual penetration while armed with dangerous weapon). He challenges the trial court's decision to admit statements he made to the arresting officer after he had waived his Miranda rights. He argues that he was incapable of a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent waiver of those rights because he is mentally deficient. Because the totality of the circumstances establish that appellant's waiver was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, we affirm.
In determining whether a defendant understood his rights, a court must consider the totality of the circumstances. Id. Factors aiding in this inquiry include a defendant's
age, maturity, intelligence, education, experience, ability to comprehend, lack of or adequacy of warnings, length and legality of detention, nature of interrogation, physical deprivations, limits on access to counsel and friends, and others.
State v. Linder, 268 N.W.2d 734, 735 (Minn. 1978). Other factors may include familiarity with the criminal justice system, physical and mental condition, and language barriers. Camacho, 561 N.W.2d at 168.
Appellant moved to suppress the following statements he made to the arresting officer immediately after he waived his Miranda rights: "I don't know anything about that girl up there. I just came from a party with my two friends that I had just met tonight." He argues his waiver was invalid because he did not have the mental capacity to understand the meaning and effect of that waiver, as evidenced by: (1) his testimony at the omnibus hearing, which led the trial court to question whether he was competent to stand trial and to order that he undergo a second rule 20 evaluation; and (2) the reports of the experts who examined him, who all agreed that he had some degree of mental disability and had an IQ in the 70's.
However, mental deficiency alone does not invalidate a defendant's waiver unless that deficiency deprived the defendant of the capacity to understand the meaning and effect of a statement or confession. Camacho, 561 N.W.2d at 169. The facts of this case demonstrate that appellant had the intelligence to understand and make decisions about what he was doing. Those facts include: (1) appellant attempted to flee and, upon capture, provided police with evasive information; (2) the arresting officer testified that when he read appellant his rights, appellant responded affirmatively that he understood each one and appellant appeared to understand what he was being told; (3) appellant was 20 years old, has been through the criminal justice system before, and was not subjected to prolonged detention, denied access to friends or family, or otherwise deprived of any physical needs; and (4) the two rule 20 evaluations both concluded that appellant understood what he had been charged with and what the consequences of a conviction would be. We therefore conclude that, given the totality of the circumstances, appellant's waiver was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.
The trial court's decision to admit statements appellant made after he waived his Miranda rights is affirmed.