IN THE INTEREST OF: N.B., A MINOR, APPEAL OF: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
from the Order Dated March 11, 2016, in the Court of Common
Pleas of McKean County, Criminal Division, at No:
BEFORE: LAZARUS, SOLANO, and STRASSBURGER, [*] JJ.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appeals from the order entered
on March 11, 2016, which granted the motion to suppress filed
on behalf of N.B. (Appellee). We reverse the order and remand
this case for further proceedings.
April 28, 2016, Appellee's mother (Mother) received
information from her daughter that Appellee and his twin
brother, D.B., then 14 years old, had engaged in sexual
conduct with a nine-year-old female who lived in an adjacent
apartment. Mother confronted Appellee and his brother, both
of whom confirmed the allegations. Mother reported the
conduct to the boys' school district. In response,
Lieutenant Steve Caskey of the Bradford Police Department
requested that Appellee and his brother be brought to the
police station for an interview. Based on the inculpatory
statements elicited during that interview, the Commonwealth
filed a written allegation of delinquency. On December 1,
2015, Appellee's attorney filed a motion to
suppress. A hearing was held on that motion on
February 17, 2016. On March 11, 2016, the juvenile court
granted Appellee's motion. This timely appeal followed.
Both the Commonwealth and the juvenile court complied with
the mandates of Pa.R.A.P. 1925.
Commonwealth presents the following issue for our review.
Did the [juvenile] court err in granting [Appellee's]
motion to suppress where [Appellee] consulted with [Mother]
prior to police questioning, and where [Mother] voluntarily
brought [Appellee] to the police station, and where
[Appellee] and [Mother] were both read their
Miranda rights, with each indicating that they
understood those rights?
Brief at 5 (unnecessary capitalization and underlining
the Commonwealth appeals from a suppression order, the
relevant scope and standard of review is as follows.
[W]e are required to determine whether the record supports
the factual findings of the suppression court, and we are
bound by those facts and may reverse only if the legal
conclusions drawn therefrom are in error. Since [the
j]uvenile prevailed below, we consider only the evidence of
[the j]uvenile and so much of the Commonwealth's evidence
that is un-contradicted when read in the context of the
entire record. Concomitantly, where the questions presented
concern legal questions, we are not bound by the suppression
court's determinations and our standard of review is
In re T.P., 78 A.3d 1166, 1169 (Pa. Super. 2013).
the Commonwealth argues that the juvenile court erred in
granting Appellee's motion to suppress because the
totality of the circumstances presented here demonstrates
that Appellee's confession was made voluntarily.
Commonwealth's Brief at 12.
[Commonwealth v. Williams, 475 A.2d 1283, 1287 (Pa.
1984)], which addressed a juvenile's waiver of his
Miranda rights in the context of providing a
confession during police interrogation, our Supreme Court
The requirements of due process are satisfied, and the
protection against the use of involuntary confessions which
law and reason demand is met by application of the totality
of circumstances analysis to all questions involving the
waiver of rights and the voluntariness of confessions made by
juveniles. All of the attending facts and circumstances must
be considered and weighed in determining whether a
juvenile's confession was knowingly and freely given.
Among those ...