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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Michael J. TERUI, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 18-10237

Decided: October 23, 2019

Before: GRABER, M. SMITH, and WATFORD, Circuit Judges. Marc A. Wallenstein, Marion Percell, Esquire, Assistant U.S. Attorney, DOJ - Office of the US Attorney, Honolulu, HI, for Plaintiff - Appellee William A. Harrison, Esquire, Attorney, Harrison & Matsuoka, AAL, for Defendant - Appellant


The district court properly denied Michael Terui’s motion to suppress the statements he made after taking a polygraph test and the physical evidence found at his home.

The police did not violate Terui’s rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), by failing to issue a new set of warnings following the conclusion of his polygraph test. The transition from a polygraph test to a new round of questioning does not, by itself, require additional Miranda warnings. See Wyrick v. Fields, 459 U.S. 42, 48–49, 103 S.Ct. 394, 74 L.Ed.2d 214 (1982) (per curiam). Rather, we look to the totality of the circumstances to determine whether the warnings already given and the suspect’s waiver of his rights remained in effect. Id. Here, “[n]o appreciable time had elapsed” between the end of the polygraph test and the beginning of the new questioning, United States v. Nordling, 804 F.2d 1466, 1471 (9th Cir. 1986), and the questioning was part of “an uninterrupted sequence of events,” United States v. Andaverde, 64 F.3d 1305, 1312 (9th Cir. 1995). In addition, before submitting to the polygraph test, Terui waived his Miranda rights with full knowledge that the detective intended to return after the test to discuss the results. The later round of questioning was thus part of the questioning encompassed within Terui’s knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his rights.

Because no Miranda violation occurred, the police permissibly relied on Terui’s incriminating statements in obtaining the search warrant for his home. Even if a Miranda violation had occurred, however, suppression of the evidence found pursuant to the warrant would not be appropriate. Physical evidence discovered as the fruit of unwarned statements may be suppressed only if the statements were made involuntarily, in violation of the Due Process Clause. United States v. Patane, 542 U.S. 630, 636–37, 124 S.Ct. 2620, 159 L.Ed.2d 667 (2004) (plurality opinion); Oregon v. Elstad, 470 U.S. 298, 305–06, 105 S.Ct. 1285, 84 L.Ed.2d 222 (1985). The district court correctly found no evidence to support a finding of involuntariness. Terui alleged no physical or psychological coercion, and there was no evidence suggesting that Terui’s will was overborne. Thus, even if Terui had established a Miranda violation, he would not have been entitled to suppression of the evidence discovered pursuant to the search warrant.


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