United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS
STATEMENTS MADE IN TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH JULIE
Oki Mollway United States District Judge
Michael Walker is charged with murdering or aiding and
abetting in the murder of his wife and with conspiring to
murder her. Before the court is a motion to suppress
statements made to his wife's sister, Julie Plotz. The
motion asserts that the statements implicate the Fifth
Amendment and Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444
(1966), as well as the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
See Walker's Memorandum in Support of Motion to
Suppress, ECF No. 148-1, PageID #s 835-38.
made the statements in telephone conversations with Plotz on
March 13, 2015, and April 25, 2015. The conversations were
recorded. See Id. Walker notes that, before those
telephone conversations, he had invoked his right to counsel,
and that Plotz was acting as a Government agent in eliciting
statements from him without counsel present, in violation of
the Fifth Amendment. See id., PageID #s 835-36.
also contends that his Sixth Amendment right to counsel had
already attached at the time Plotz elicited those statements.
court concludes that Walker's right to counsel under
Miranda and the Fifth and Sixth Amendments was not
violated. The motion to suppress statements is denied.
FINDINGS OF FACT.
court makes the following findings of fact based on a
preponderance of the evidence. The evidence was presented in
court filings; no live testimony was received in connection
with this motion. The findings are identified by letters of
the alphabet for ease of reference in future proceedings.
November 15, 2014, Walker returned home after working a night
shift as an Army medic at Tripler Army Memorial Hospital to
find his wife, Catherine Walker, stabbed to death at their
home in a military housing complex on Oahu. He called 911.
Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division
reported to the house. Agent Ian Mitchell spoke with Walker,
then asked Walker to come with him to the station to answer
the station, about mid-way through the questioning, Agent
Mitchell presented Walker with a Statement of Rights and
Waiver form. Agent Mitchell reviewed Walker's rights
under the Fifth Amendment and Miranda with him. At
some point on November 15, 2014, after Walker had been read
his Miranda rights, Walker invoked his right to
remain silent and his right to counsel. Walker was not
arrested or charged with anything at the time.
the months that followed, law enforcement contacted
Walker's counsel on several occasions about matters
pertaining to the investigation into his wife's death.
enforcement also contacted Plotz, Catherine Walker's
younger sister, who was one of the last people to speak with
Mrs. Walker before she died. After her sister's death,
Plotz, who lived in Arizona, spoke with Walker both in person
and over the telephone.
Mrs. Walker's funeral in New York in late November 2014,
Plotz spoke to Walker about her sister's death, noting
the fact that there were no signs of a forced entry into the
house and that the weapon used appeared to have been a
kitchen knife from the house. According to Plotz, Walker told
her that they ...