This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).




In the Matter of the Welfare of J.J.C., Child.

Filed July 21, 1998

Klaphake, Judge

Polk County District Court

File No. J3-97-50071

Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota St., St. Paul, MN 55101; and

Wayne H. Swanson, Polk County Attorney, Scott A. Buhler, Assistant Polk County Attorney, 223 E. Seventh St., Ste. 101, Crookston, MN 56716 (for respondent petitioner)

Melissa Sheridan, Assistant State Public Defender, 875 Summit Ave., Room 371, St. Paul, MN 55105 (for appellant child)

Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Forsberg, Judge,* and Holtan, Judge.**

*Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. Art. VI, § 10.

**Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. Art. VI, § 10.



Appellant J.J.C. contends the district court erred in declining to suppress his confession obtained by a police officer during questioning at J.J.C.'s school, which led to his adjudication of delinquency for committing second-degree burglary. J.J.C. also contends the evidence is insufficient to prove that he intended to commit a crime during the burglary, an element of the offense. We affirm because J.J.C. was not in custody during questioning and therefore was not entitled to a Miranda warning, and the evidence was sufficient on the element of intent to commit a crime.


1. Miranda Warning

A Miranda warning is required only for custodial interrogations or "questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way." Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 1612 (1966) (footnote omitted); see State v. Palm, 299 N.W.2d 740, 741-42 (Minn. 1980). Custody has been defined by the Supreme Court as "formal arrest or restraint on freedom of movement of the degree associated with formal arrest." Minnesota v. Murphy, 465 U.S. 420, 430, 104 S. Ct. 1136, 1144 (1984) (citation omitted); see Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 U.S. 492, 495, 97 S. Ct. 711, 714 (1977) (ultimate question is whether there is "formal arrest or restraint on freedom of movement" equivalent to formal arrest). "[T]he circumstances of each case influence a determination of whether a suspect is `in custody' for purposes of receiving Miranda protection." State v. Spencer, 414 N.W.2d 528, 531 (Minn. App. 1987), review denied (Minn. Dec. 22, 1987).

On the issue of whether J.J.C. was in custody at the time he was questioned, we find instructive the case of State v. Budke, 372 N.W.2d 799 (Minn. App. 1985). In Budke, the defendant was called to the high school principal's office to talk to a police investigator about two recent burglaries. Id. at 800-01. The principal left the defendant alone with the investigator, who told the defendant that he was not under arrest, that he was free to leave at any time, and that he did not have to talk to the investigator if he did not want to, but that the investigator would like to talk to the defendant about his possible involvement in "some things." Id. at 801. This court concluded that the restrictions placed on the defendant did not amount to a restraint equivalent to formal arrest and declined to suppress the defendant's confession. Id. at 802.

Similarly, in this case, J.J.C. was questioned in the principal's office. Although he was informed only that he was not under arrest, not that he was free to leave, and the police officer and principal worked together to elicit J.J.C.'s confession, these factual distinctions do not merit a different result in this case. Even where the investigative settings were arguably more coercive than the facts presented here, Minnesota and federal courts have not found similar settings to be custodial. See, e.g., Murphy, 465 U.S. at 422-23, 430, 104 S. Ct. at 1139-40, 1144 (probation officer's questioning of defendant in her office not custodial even though defendant required to attend meeting and tell truth); State v. Hince, 540 N.W.2d 820, 824 (Minn. 1995) (son of police chief not in custody even though father, in uniform, ordered son to accompany him to police station for questioning about theft and threatened to evict son if he did not return stolen property); Spencer, 414 N.W.2d at 531-33 (jockey not in custody although security officer asked jockey to go with him to security office for questioning about illegal electrical device found in jockey's belongings); State v. Larson, 346 N.W.2d 199, 201 (Minn. App. 1984) (uniformed officer's presence in defendant's home not sufficient restraint on defendant's liberty to merit Miranda warning). Because J.J.C.'s questioning did not amount to a custodial interrogation for purposes of application of Miranda, we conclude that the trial court did not err in declining to suppress J.J.C.'s confession, which was elicited without a Miranda warning.

2. Sufficiency of the Evidence

J.J.C. contends that the evidence was insufficient to support a second-degree burglary conviction because there is no evidence that he intended to commit a crime other than trespass. Second-degree burglary is accomplished if a person enters a building without consent and intends to commit or commits a crime while in the building while possessing a tool to gain access to money or property. Minn. Stat. § 609.582, subd. 2(d) (1996). "For burglary, intent means the state must prove a defendant intended to commit some independent crime other than trespass after illegal entry into the building." State v. Ring, 554 N.W.2d 758, 760 (Minn. App. 1996) (citation omitted), review denied (Minn. Jan. 21, 1997). Proof of intent to commit a crime during a burglary may "`rest on a permissible inference from the facts proved.'" Id. (quoting State v. Crosby, 277 Minn. 22, 25, 151 N.W.2d 297, 300 (1967)). The circumstances surrounding the defendant's acts will usually demonstrate intent. Ring, 554 N.W.2d at 760.

Here, J.J.C.'s accomplice stated that the juveniles entered the school "for something to do." This explanation is not necessarily inconsistent with a criminal purpose. See State v. Schneider, 402 N.W.2d 779, 783 (Minn. 1987) (defendant's expressed objective for entering building, to "obtain a feeling [of] purpose and power," not inconsistent with criminal objective). Circumstantial evidence of intent includes that the juveniles came to the school late at night, forcibly entered the building, obtained a screwdriver from a shop room, and attempted to forcibly pick the locks on certain rooms. As schools contain items of value, this evidence is more consistent with criminal intent than with harmless intent. See Ring, 554 N.W.2d at 760 ("persistent, surreptitious attempts" at forced entry considered in determining intent to commit crime during burglary); State v. Nelson, 363 N.W.2d 81, 83 (Minn. App. 1985) (intent to steal during burglary inferred by, among other facts, nighttime entry into building, forcible entry, and a building presumably containing money or items of value). Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the finding of juvenile delinquency, the evidence is sufficient on J.J.C.'s intent to commit a crime while in the school. See Ring, 554 N.W.2d at 760; In re Welfare of M.D.S., 345 N.W.2d 723, 727 n.1 (Minn. 1984) (appellate court must view evidence of juvenile's conviction in light most favorable to prosecution).