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Name: People v. Wyatt
Case #: C056249
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/19/2008

Request for counsel at a disciplinary hearing five days prior to an interrogation did not invoke Edwards rights. (Edwards v. Arizona (1981) 451 U.S. 477.) Prior to his trial for possession of paraphernalia and manufacturing a weapon while in jail, Wyatt moved to suppress statements he made during an interview with Deputy Davis. At a disciplinary hearing five days prior to the interview, Wyatt had refused to make a statement and requested to have an attorney present. At the interview, Deputy Davis read Wyatt his Miranda rights, and Wyatt waived them and admitted the offense. Wyatt argued on appeal that his request to have counsel present at the disciplinary hearing constituted an invocation of his Fifth Amendment right to counsel under Miranda, and Deputy Davis was precluded from questioning him on the same facts five days later under Edwards. The appellate court rejected the argument. Although Wyatt requested counsel at the disciplinary hearing, it was ambiguous whether that request applied to the subsequent independent custodial interrogation, because a prisoner is not entitled to counsel at a disciplinary hearing. Further, the disciplinary hearing was not a custodial interrogation because Wyatt was not asked any questions, and remained silent. When he requested counsel at the disciplinary hearing, he asserted a right which did not exist in that setting. Deputy Davis “clarified” the ambiguous request by advising Wyatt of his Miranda rights, which he waived. This did not violate the rule of Edwards.
There was no instructional error in giving CALCRIM No. 220. Viewed together with other instructions, CALCRIM No. 220 properly informed the jury that the prosecutor was obliged to prove each element of the offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.
The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it failed to strike one or both of Wyatt’s prior strikes.