State v. M.S.

July, 2015
Charges: Murder in the First Degree

Another Miranda win for Dan, although this time with limited implications on the conviction, and the resultant mandatory sentence. This matter has been cited multiple times by courts around the country on the premise of reinitiated interrogations of a target in a murder investigation. Mr. Staats, initially approached as a potential witness in an horrific execution-style murder by another man, Mark Dahlin, gave two relatively innocuous statements to police, but after being arrested and taken to the Minnetonka Police Department for further questioning, he realized the importance of having a lawyer present. The balance of his comments to police—comprising five additional conversations and several hours of recordings, were later deemed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to have been erroneously admitted. Unfortunately, the combination of a state-favoring judge and an utterly horrible set of facts (the decedent wandered around in bare feet soaking up his own blood, dying only moments later…), resulted in a bit of a Pyrrhic victory—the sentence was upheld, at least initially, and the rejection of the statements provides only cold comfort. This case represents the absolute truth, one of the most inarguable statements a person can ever make: NEVER NEVER NEVER TALK TO POLICE, regardless of the circumstances. NEVER. Had Mr. Staats been cautious enough to demand legal counsel immediately upon being approached by investigators, he would be free today, utterly without responsibility for another man’s homicidal rage, and much the wiser for his close call. STAY SILENT, and call Dan or James STAT.

Types of Charge(s): Murder