State News

Court: Child wasn't in police custody at school

Posted December 11, 2009 2:21 p.m. EST
Updated December 11, 2009 2:27 p.m. EST

— A divided North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled a seventh-grader's statements taken while he was in school about robberies that happened away from campus are admissible in court.

The justices released their 4-3 decision Friday, ruling in favor of a lower court ruling that found the 13-year-old Orange County boy wasn't in legal custody when taken to a school conference room in 2005 to be questioned about the home robberies.

Officers otherwise would have been required to read him his Miranda rights before questioning.

Authorities say the child confessed and later provided items he took. A judge ruled the teenager delinquent.

Justice Edward Brady said the investigation wasn't fair and in a dissenting opinion likened it to hunters carefully targeting their prey.