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158102 - People v Laricca Mathews

The People of the State of Michigan,


Matthew Fillmore





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Oakland – McMillen, P.)


Laricca Seminta Mathews,


Joseph Lavigne





Defendant Laricca Mathews is awaiting trial for open murder arising out of the fatal shooting of her boyfriend, Gabriel Dumas.  After shooting Dumas in the head, defendant called 911, attended to his head wound as instructed, and surrendered to the police when they arrived.  She was arrested and taken to the police station, where she was interviewed twice.  At the beginning of the interviews, she was advised in writing and orally that “before any questions are asked of you, you should know, . . . you have the right to a lawyer.”  Defendant agreed to speak with detectives and made statements that the prosecution wants to introduce at trial.  Defendant moved to suppress her statements under Miranda v Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966), and the trial court granted her motion, ruling that the warnings failed to advise defendant that she had the right to have an attorney present before and during interrogation.  The Court of Appeals denied the prosecution’s application for interlocutory review for lack of merit in the grounds presented, with one judge indicating that she would grant leave to appeal.  On appeal, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration as on leave granted to consider whether either of the bases for suppression advanced by defendant in the trial court rendered the warnings in this case deficient under Miranda.  See People v Mathews, 501 Mich 950 (2018).  On remand, in a published split decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed, holding “that a warning preceding a custodial interrogation is deficient when the warning contains only a broad reference to the ‘right to an attorney’ that does not, when the warning is read in its entirety, reasonably convey the suspect’s right to consult with an attorney and to have an attorney present during the interrogation.”  People v Mathews, 324 Mich App 416, 438 (2018).  The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on the prosecution’s application for leave to appeal to address whether the warnings provided to the defendant prior to custodial interrogation “reasonably convey[ed],” Florida v Powell, 559 US 50, 60 (2010), to her the “right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with [her] during interrogation,” Miranda, 384 US at 471.  ​