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NJ Confession Made During Plea Negotiation Suppressed


by in Criminal Defense

State v. Orion T. Brabham, ? N.J. Super. ?, 2010 N.J. Super. LEXIS ? (April 30, 2010) – Convictions reversed. “Defendant primarily objects to the denial of his motions to suppress physical evidence seized by a New York parole officer during a search of his home and statements he made to New Jersey law enforcement officers.

Accepting the judge’s factual findings, we conclude that the physical evidence was properly admitted but the statements defendant made during a meeting he requested to negotiate a plea should have been excluded pursuant to N.J.R.E. 410….

The judge’s factual findings compel us to conclude that N.J.R.E. 410 required exclusion of everything defendant said at the May 8 meeting. Accepting the State’s proofs, he found: the presence of law enforcement officers at a meeting with defendant did not just happen but occurred because the meeting was orchestrated by defendant; defendant wanted to ‘run the show’ and was ‘basically orchestrating what [was] going to happen’; he said ‘what he want[ed] to say’; and ‘[h]e wanted to orchestrate a deal … where everything was combined.’

Those findings … do not permit any conclusion other than that defendant believed he was attending the meeting he wanted to have — a meeting to negotiate a global plea agreement resolving multiple burglaries committed in various counties…. In short, we conclude that the State cannot introduce evidence to convince the court that a suspect has volunteered statements and then avoid the legal implications that flow from the proofs presented. It was error to admit these statements after finding that the statements were made under circumstances in which they cannot be admitted in conformity with N.J.R.E. 410.”






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