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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. DARYL ROANE (11/20/74)

decided: November 20, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
DARYL ROANE, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Richard H. Knox, Ira I. Pechter, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Arlen Specter, Dist. Atty., Richard A. Sprague, 1st Asst. Dist. Atty., James D. Crawford, Deputy Dist. Atty., David Richman, Asst. Dist. Atty., Chief, Appeals Div., B. H. Levintow, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Eagen, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Jones, C. J., and Pomeroy, J., join. Nix, J., concurs in the result.

Author: O'brien

[ 459 Pa. Page 391]

OPINION

On February 28, 1969, Eugene Sole was shot and killed during the course of a robbery of his tailor shop on North Broad Street in Philadelphia. Three youths, one readily identified by a bystander as Norman Lyons, were seen fleeing the scene of the crime, which occurred at approximately 2:50 p. m. In the course of their investigation that afternoon, the police talked to many young men in the neighborhood, including appellant, Daryl Roane, but all were released without being arrested. That evening, Norman Lyons was arrested and he made a statement to the police in which he admitted his involvement in the robbery and named appellant as the man who had pulled the trigger. The police thereupon went to the home where appellant, who was then sixteen years old,*fn1 lived with his mother, Mrs. Roane. At approximately 10:40 p. m., they informed appellant and Mrs. Roane that appellant was under arrest and took him to the police station at 22nd and Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia. Before they left the Roane home, Mrs. Roane told the police that she would be following them to the station. However, when Mrs. Roane arrived at the police station, at approximately 11:00 p. m., Daryl and the arresting officers were nowhere to be seen. Mrs. Roane waited for over an hour, during which time she was given no information concerning the whereabouts of her son. At approximately 12:10 a. m., Mrs. Roane happened to notice her son, accompanied by a detective, proceeding

[ 459 Pa. Page 392]

    to a water fountain in the hallway where Mrs. Roane had been sitting. Mrs. Roane attempted to talk with Daryl, but the opportunity was denied to her when the detective took appellant away to another interrogation room. Mrs. Roane inquired of the detective but received no answer. Since she had no idea where her son had been taken, she continued to wait. After another wait, for a period which Mrs. Roane estimated to have been approximately an hour, Mrs. Roane again saw the police taking her son across the hallway into another interrogation room. This time the door was left ajar, so Mrs. Roane, uninvited, entered. She asked the police for an opportunity to talk with Daryl to find out what had happened since his arrest. The police gave her permission, but urged her to speak up so that they could hear what she said. According to Mrs. Roane, however, her son was uncommunicative. Soon after, a police officer brought a typewriter into the room, and a detective began reading appellant his constitutional rights. When he came to appellant's right to have an attorney present before any statement was made, Mrs. Roane told the police that she wanted to obtain a lawyer for her son and she did not want any statement taken. Mrs. Roane's request was ignored, and the police began taking appellant's formal statement. When Mrs. Roane protested, one of the detectives in the room told her, "Let him talk, maybe it will make him feel better."

It was during the taking of the formal statement that Mrs. Roane learned for the first time that Daryl had already orally confessed his involvement in the killing immediately after being told that Norman Lyons had implicated him.

The formal typewritten statement was concluded at approximately 5:55 a. m. Daryl signed the statement but his mother and sister (who had arrived in the middle of the interrogation) refused to sign because, as Mrs.

[ 459 Pa. Page 393]

Roane explained, they didn't "want him to make the statement."

The principal question presented in this appeal from Daryl's ten-to-twenty-year sentence, imposed after a jury had convicted him of second-degree murder, is whether Daryl's formal ...


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