FROM THE HEMPSTEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NOS. 29CR-15-56 and
29CR-15-148] HONORABLE RANDY WRIGHT, JUDGE
Camille Edmison, for appellant.
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Rachel Kemp, Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
J. GLADWIN, Judge
Omar Garcia was convicted in the Hempstead County Circuit
Court on four counts of rape and six counts of second-degree
sexual assault. On appeal, Garcia challenges the sufficiency
of the evidence to support his convictions and the trial
court's denial of his motion to suppress his statement to
police. We affirm.
was charged by felony information after his two younger
cousins alleged that he had raped them. On the day of his
arrest, Garcia was Mirandized and questioned by Officer Jesus
Coronado of the Hope Police Department. Garcia admitted to
Coronado that he had used his penis to anally penetrate his
eight-year-old cousin, MT. Prior to his trial on all the
charges, Garcia filed a motion to suppress his statements to
suppression hearing, Garcia testified that he had been
twenty-one years old when he was arrested. He described that,
on the day of his arrest, he had been asleep and his mother
woke him and told him there were several police cars outside
their house. He dressed, answered the door, was asked by
police to step outside, and was told that the police had a
warrant for his arrest. He was handcuffed and placed in the
patrol car, but he had to lie down because he did not fit
into the small back seat. He was taken to the Hempstead
County jail and booked. He said he was given a jumpsuit and
that he felt uncomfortable when he had to change his clothes
in front of a police officer. He was then handcuffed and
taken to a bench to wait for Coronado. In two to three
minutes, Coronado appeared, took the handcuffs off, and
escorted Garcia to the interrogation room, which he described
as having been cold and small. Coronado left and came back
two or three minutes later. Garcia said he had been scared
because it had been his first time in the interrogation room.
Coronado returned, introduced himself, and said he had
questions for Garcia. Garcia testified further as follows:
[Coronado] said he had to read me my rights before he asked
me any questions, but then he started asking me questions
anyways. He asked me how to spell my name, what my birthday
was, what my social security number was, and if I had ever
been in any trouble. I said no, sir. He also asked if anybody
had explained my rights and my charges. He asked who my
parents were and where they worked, and how long we had been
living in Hope. I was confused at this point, because I
thought he was going to read me my rights and he started
asking questions anyways. At that point, I thought I had to
answer his questions anyways, because I didn't know if I
had rights or not. He asked all these questions without
providing me with any rights.
I had never heard of the Miranda decision by
February 26 of this year. The highest education degree I have
is a high school diploma. I do recall Sergeant Coronado
reading a document to me. I did not understand what he read
to me. Like I said, I never heard them before because I
hadn't been in trouble before. When he asked if I
understood my rights, I nodded my head, but I didn't
really understand my rights. I felt like since he was an
officer with a lot of power that I had to answer his
questions, because I didn't know if I had rights. He slid
the paper across the table and told me to initial next to my
rights and sign. I did that very quickly without reading
anything. I didn't read anything because I was scared and
confused. He said he had to read me my rights before asking
me questions, but he asked questions anyways. I thought I had
to answer his questions.
trial court filed an order on November 20, 2015, denying
Garcia's motion to suppress and allowing the videotape
and statement to be introduced at trial. At the jury trial,
Coronado testified that he had investigated the case and had
interviewed Garcia. The videotaped interview was admitted as
evidence. As Garcia had described at the suppression hearing,
a transcript of the interview reflects that Coronado first
introduced himself and told Garcia that he wanted to get his
side of the story. The interview continued as follows:
Coronado: There's one side and there's the other.
Before I have to, or asked you any questions or anything I do
have to read your rights but let me ask you something. Do you
work anywhere or anything?
Garcia: Not right now.
Coronado: Not right now. Have you been employed?
Coronado: Okay, where did you work at?
Garcia: I used to work at Ledwell.
Coronado: Okay, how long have you lived in Hope?
Garcia: Ah for, I was born here in Hope.
Coronado: Oh, was you? Okay. Cool. Whose your parents?
Garcia: Yolanda and Deotoro Garcia.
Coronado: Where does your dad work?
Coronado: Okay. You just look real familiar and I don't
know if you look like your dad but you kind of favor somebody
Garcia: I used to go to school here in Hope.
Coronado: Out here in Hope? Okay, what year did you graduate?
Garcia: I know your ...