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Name: U.S. v. Michaud
Case #: 99-10440
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/25/2001
Subsequent History: None

Appellant was a suspect in a kidnap and sexual assault in Nevada. Placer County police secured arrest warrants for both appellant and her boyfriend, and FBI agents who were aware of the warrants, went to appellant’s hotel room. They told her that they were hotel management and that her boyfriend was sick and needed her. They then handcuffed her and secured consent to search her room. She gave a waiver of her Miranda rights. FBI agents and Placer County police then interrogated her until she requested a lawyer; they terminated the interrogation. Following appellant’s arrest, her cellmate contacted deputies and told them that appellant had information about a murder and “needed to talk.” Deputies then verified with Michaud that she wanted to talk before speaking with her. She then confessed to the offenses, and subsequently entered a plea of guilty to federal kidnap charges. The Court of Appeals here held that the use of a ruse to arrest Michaud was proper and that the police did not initiate questioning after she had invoked her right to counsel. Therefore, the suppression motion was properly denied. J. Reinhardt dissented because the case was a clear cut violation of Edwards v. Arizona (1981) 451 U.S. 477, which prohibits further questioning of a defendant who has asserted her right to counsel. Michaud did not initiate the communication with police as required by Edwards; it was her cellmate who made the contact. Michaud never made any statement or expressed any desire to talk.