Judge finds no Miranda rights violations in attempted murder case
A Nevada County judge has found that the Miranda rights of a man charged with attempted murder were not violated, and also found sufficient evidence to hold him to answer on all charges.
William “Dale” Carman, 59, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, being a felon in possession of a firearm, arson, criminal threats and attempted criminal threats, in connection with a Jan. 2 incident that reportedly involved Carman and his brother, James “Don” Carman, firing shots at each other.
Dale Carman was on the property off Rex Reservoir and Flying T roads with a gunshot wound to the face and reportedly told a deputy he had broken the window of a trailer and that his brother shot him in the face.
A female victim, Andrea Smith, was found at the trailer with a gunshot wound to the cheek; Don Carman had left the scene.
Don Carman was located later that day and said he had been at the trailer when Dale began pounding on the door and then fired a round into the ground and through the window, hitting Smith. He said he returned fire into the dark with a .22 revolver.
Smith reportedly told a detective that Dale Carman had been at the trailer the day before, and during an argument he shot off a fire extinguisher around the trailer and in her face, then broke her computer.
He had threatened to kill both her and Don, and burn down the trailer. After he left, she noticed that her car had been burned.
Sheriff’s Det. Philip Dix testified during a preliminary hearing into the evidence that he interviewed Dale Carman while he was in the hospital on Jan. 13, and then again on Jan. 16 after he was returned to Nevada County. Dale reportedly said he had taken a Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol to the trailer, and that he had fired a round off toward the rear of the trailer. He denied shooting into the trailer.
Carman’s attorney, Greg Klein, questioned why he was not read his Miranda rights until after he made some incriminating statements, and argued that those statements should be ruled inadmissable because he was confined to his hospital bed and was not free to leave.
Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin ruled on the Miranda issues in court Tuesday, noting that while Carman was in the hospital, he was not in custody and his freedom was not restricted by law enforcement. He ruled that Carman’s Miranda rights had not been violated at either of his two interviews, and declined to suppress the statements made during those interviews.
Tice-Raskin subsequently held Carman to answer on all counts and special allegations, including the intentional discharge of a firearm.
The issue of Carman’s mental competence was raised, but his attorney, Greg Klein, indicated he did not want to take any action at present. He will return to court Oct. 19 for formal arraignment.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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