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State v. Eagleton

September 16, 1996

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
MARCUS CARLOS EAGLETON, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 94-1-03984-5. Date filed: 11/21/94. Judge signing: Hon. Jo Anne Alumbaugh.

Authored by Ronald E. Cox. Concurring: H. Joseph Coleman, Faye C. Kennedy. WE Concur

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cox

COX, J. -- Marcus C. Eagleton appeals his conviction for first degree armed robbery. The inadvertent admission of Detective Orendorff's testimony regarding other robberies in which Eagleton was a suspect did not deny him a fair trial. The trial court did not err by limiting Eagleton's cross examination of the detective respecting the other robberies. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Eagleton a continuance to gather evidence of other suspects. Accordingly, we affirm.

Late one evening in June 1994, three African American men robbed the Renton Dairy Queen restaurant shortly after it closed. The three robbers wore nylon stocking masks. They had at least one pistol among them. They demanded the contents of the safe. In response, the employees gave the robbers approximately $1,800.

During the robbery, one of the managers of the Dairy Queen ran across the street and told Erik Briggs what had happened. Briggs then witnessed the robbers leaving the scene in a maroon Honda Accord. He followed the robbers in his vehicle and recorded the license number of the Honda. He was also able to see the face of the driver as the car left a cul-de-sac.

Briggs returned to the Dairy Queen and made a statement to the police, who had arrived at the scene after he left to follow the robbers. The police traced the license number that Briggs had noted, learned Eagleton's address, and apprehended him there as he arrived home at approximately 11:30 p.m. Officer Nielsen advised Eagleton of his Miranda *fn1 rights.

When Detective Orendorff arrived, Eagleton told him that the robbery was not Eagleton's idea. He said he only drove and claimed not to know what was happening. When Orendorff mentioned that he was investigating five other robberies, Eagleton stated that this was his first robbery and that he had nothing to do with the other five.

The State charged Eagleton with first degree armed robbery. The trial court denied Eagleton's motion to suppress his statement to Orendorff. A jury convicted Eagleton as charged.

He appeals.

I

Motion for Mistrial

Eagleton claims prejudicial error occurred when the court admitted Detective Orendorff's testimony regarding Eagleton's statement that this was his first robbery and he had nothing to do with five others Orendorff was investigating. We disagree.

The State raises a threshold issue. It argues that Eagleton failed to preserve any error for review. At the beginning of trial, Eagleton requested a continuing objection to admission of any of his statements to Detective Orendorff. The basis of that objection was that the statements were not made after a voluntary waiver of his right to remain silent. But Eagleton did not timely object on any other basis.

The following examination of Detective Orendorff clarifies events:

By Ms. Shaffer [deputy prosecutor]:

Q. What else, if anything did Mr. Eagleton say to you after the statements he recited? What did he say to you after that?

A. [Orendorff] What other statements were made?

Q. Yes.

A. He stated that this was his first robbery and he didn't do the five others that I was talking about.

Q. What else, if anything, did Mr. Eagleton say to you after that statement?

A. I'm sorry?

Q. What else did he say after that statement concerning this was his first robbery?

A. Our conversation almost ended at that time.

Q. Did he make any comments to you about who, if anyone, ...


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