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State v. Young

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

November 26, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
BIANCA YOUNG, Defendant-Respondent.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued November 18, 2013

On appeal from an interlocutory order of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 11-12-2248.

Brian Pollock, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for appellant (Carolyn A. Murray, Acting Essex County Prosecutor, attorney; Mr. Pollock, of counsel and on the brief).

Rochelle Watson, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for respondent (Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney; Ms. Watson, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Harris and Guadagno.

PER CURIAM

By leave granted, the State appeals two paragraphs of the Law Division's April 4, 2013 interlocutory order, which granted defendant Bianca Young's motion to suppress (1) "Oral Statement #2 made at approximately 3:12 p.m. on May 9, 2011 to detectives, " and (2) "Oral Statement #2 made to [a] Division of Child Protection and Permanency employee ... on May 16, 2011." We reverse.

I.

We summarize the facts gleaned from the motion record. On May 8, 2011, Young returned home after receiving a telephone call from her boyfriend that her five-year-old daughter was not breathing properly. At approximately 10:15 p.m., Young rushed the child to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead one hour later. An examination by doctors revealed numerous bruises to the girl's face and left side.

The New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) was contacted, which commenced an investigation. A subsequent autopsy, performed the next day, indicated numerous contusions to the child's back, head, and neck, along with extensive internal bleeding. The autopsy concluded that Young's daughter died due to blunt force trauma.

Young provided an initial statement to DCPP worker Sheronda Robinson. Following this statement, Young provided three more statements to law enforcement officials during which she fully cooperated and voluntarily waived her Miranda[1] rights.

The first statement was given at 5:54 a.m. on May 9 to Newark Police Detective Levi Holmes and Essex County Prosecutor's Office Detective Paul Ceribando. At 3:12 p.m., Young provided Ceribando and Newark Detective Lydell James with a second statement, which was videorecorded. A third statement, given at 9:55 a.m. on May 10, 2011, was provided to Captain Michael DeMaio of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

Those statements ultimately yielded information that, several days prior to the child's rapid decline in health, Young had physically punished her daughter for defecating in a Snapple bottle and urinating in her four-year-old sister's milk.

On May 16, 2011, DCPP worker Guilherme Janmarino served Young with an order to show cause and a 5A form (used to determine eligibility for assigned counsel) in connection with a Title Nine[2] proceeding involving Young's other child. Janmarino testified that Young was informed that "she did not need to speak to [Janmarino] directly if she did not feel comfortable until her attorney was present." Young indicated, "it's okay[, ] I will answer whatever questions that you need. I have nothing to hide." Janmarino also told Young that "[a]nything that she would have told [Janmarino] could have been used against her." Young admitted that she did, in fact, strike her children in the past. Janmarino indicated that Young's primary concern throughout the conversation ...


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