In People v Carl (46 N.Y.2d 806), discussed in Rogers as being consistent with Hobson and inconsistent with Taylor, the court held inadmissible statements made by defendant as to supposedly unrelated matters after the Sheriff had been instructed not to speak to defendant by his attorney on the matter for which defendant was in custody.Summary of this case from People v. Seymour
Argued December 1, 1978
Decided December 21, 1978
Appeal from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Third Judicial Department, DONALD H. MONROE, J.
John M. Nonna for appellant.
D. Bruce Crew, III, District Attorney, for respondent.
The motion to suppress should have been granted because the defendant was represented by counsel when he was questioned by the police in the county jail (People v Hobson, 39 N.Y.2d 479). Indeed following his arraignment, and prior to his being questioned at the county jail, counsel assigned to represent him sent a letter to the Sheriff notifying him of the assignment and directing that no one, other than a relative, be permitted to question or confer with the defendant, without counsel being present. The fact that the police officers questioned the defendant about a different crime than the one for which he was being held is a technicality of little significance in this case. Concededly both incidents involved burglaries or attempted burglaries at the same location, the Tanner Building Company, and were little more than a week apart. In fact the Grand Jury considered the charges together, and the defendant was indicted for both incidents in the same indictment. Thus the charges were sufficiently related (see, e.g., People v Vella, 21 N.Y.2d 249; compare People v Taylor, 27 N.Y.2d 327; People v Hetherington, 27 N.Y.2d 242) and the police should not have questioned the defendant in the absence of counsel.
Since the case must be remitted for further proceedings on the indictment we should note that the court should not have summarily denied the defendant's request to represent himself (People v McIntyre, 36 N.Y.2d 10). If upon remittal the defendant renews the application the court should make further inquiry to insure that the defendant is fully aware of the consequences (People v Reason, 37 N.Y.2d 351; see, also, People v McIntyre, supra, p 17). The fact that the defendant intends or may intend to present an insanity defense does not preclude him from representing himself provided, of course, he is found competent to proceed (People v Reason, supra).
Accordingly, the order of the Appellate Division should be reversed, the motion to suppress granted, the plea set aside and the case remitted to the trial court for further proceedings on the indictment.
Chief Judge BREITEL and Judges JASEN, GABRIELLI, JONES, WACHTLER, FUCHSBERG and COOKE concur.
Order reversed, motion to suppress granted, plea vacated, and case remitted to Chemung County Court for further proceedings on the indictment in a memorandum.