Articles Posted in Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

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Appellant Michael Herring was 16 years old when he was arrested for, and charged with, aggravated robbery. Because he was a juvenile, he was given his Miranda warnings by a magistrate. There was conflicting testimony as to whether two armed police officers were present when appellant was given these warnings. After the warnings, appellant was questioned by two police officers, and he confessed to the charged robbery, as well as other robberies and burglaries. The confession was reduced to writing by one of the officers, and appellant signed it. At trial, appellant filed a motion to suppress the signed statement, and argued, among other things, that the statement was taken in violation of Family Code Section 51.095 because armed law-enforcement officers were present when he was given the magistrate's warnings. The motion was denied, and a jury found appellant guilty, sentencing him to 20 years' confinement. Appellant appealed and asserted that the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress. The court of appeals affirmed appellant's conviction. Appellant argued one issue to the Supreme Court: whether Section 51.095(a)(1)(A) permitted law-enforcement officers to be present when a juvenile is initially read his rights. The Court concluded that Section 51.095(a)(1)(A) does not prohibit the presence of law-enforcement officers, and accordingly affirmed. View "Herring v. Texas" on Justia Law