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State v. Waloke

Supreme Court of South Dakota

July 17, 2013

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
HEIDI WALOKE, Defendant and Appellant.

CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS ON APRIL 22, 2013

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT PENNINGTON COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE JANINE M. KERN Judge

MARTY J. JACKLEY Attorney General KELLY MARNETTE Assistant Attorney General Pierre, South Dakota Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.

THOMAS M. DIGGINS of Pennington County Public Defender’s Office Rapid City, South Dakota Attorneys for defendant and appellant.

SEVERSON, Justice.

[¶1.] Heidi Waloke was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree. Waloke appeals her conviction and raises three issues: (1) whether the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress and motion to exclude the evidence of the first interrogation; (2) whether the trial court erred in denying her request to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of second degree manslaughter; and (3) whether the trial court erred in denying her request to instruct the jury on the elements of burglary. We affirm the trial court.

BACKGROUND

[¶2.] On Sunday, May 22, 2011, Heidi Waloke was at her apartment in Rapid City with her two daughters, ages two and seven. Waloke's brother, Chastyn Waloke, was also present at her apartment. Waloke and Chastyn were consuming alcohol during the day in Waloke's apartment with several of Chastyn's acquaintances, and eventually, Jada Jeunesse, a relative of Waloke and Chastyn. Waloke later testified that she was drinking because she was upset with her boyfriend, Robert Arguello, the father of her unborn child.

[¶3.] Waloke and Jeunesse continued to drink into the early morning hours of Monday, May 23, 2011. At some point, there was a verbal and physical altercation between Waloke and Jeunesse in the kitchen of the apartment. Waloke swung a knife at Jeunesse. A later examination of Jeunesse found an incised wound on the left side of her neck; a stab wound under her chin; a large stab wound to the center of her chest; an incised wound to her left arm; a cut on her left little toe; small cuts and scrapes on her right foot; bruising on the back forearm of her right arm; and two stab wounds to her back. A forensic examiner later determined that Jeunesse's death was caused by the stab wound in her chest through her heart. Waloke was bruised on her face and back, had a red mark on her neck, and had cuts and scrapes to her arms and feet.

[¶4.] During the altercation, Chastyn was sleeping on the couch in the living room of the apartment, next to the kitchen. Chastyn woke up because of the shouting, went into the kitchen, and saw Jeunesse lying on the floor. Chastyn called Waloke's boyfriend, Arguello, and told him that there was a problem at Waloke's home. Arguello was near Hill City for work and returned to Waloke's apartment. On his way back, he called his brother, Jeff Arguello, and mother, Anna Smits, and asked that they meet him at the apartment complex.

[¶5.] When he reached the apartment complex, Arguello and his brother went into Waloke's apartment while Smits waited outside. Around 8:50 a.m. on May 23, 2011, Smits called 911 to report that a person was stabbed at Waloke's apartment.

[¶6.] Rapid City Police Officers Jim Hansen and Dan Mertz were the first to arrive. Smits directed them to the apartment. The officers entered the apartment and saw Waloke sitting and rocking back and forth against a chair in the living room. Arguello and his brother stood next to Waloke. Chastyn was in the kitchen. Officer Hansen saw Jeunesse on the floor of the kitchen and approached her to see if she was still breathing. Officer Hansen saw that Jeunesse had a large wound in her chest and contacted dispatch to get medical personnel to come quickly.

[¶7.] Paramedics and firefighters arrived at the apartment. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate Jeunesse at the apartment, and then transported her to the hospital. Jeunesse was pronounced dead at the hospital.

[¶8.] Other officers arrived at Waloke's apartment, including Rapid City Police Officer Robin Black. Officer Black was instructed to watch Waloke and Chastyn. Officer Black administered a preliminary breath test to Waloke. Waloke had a blood alcohol content of .259. Officer Black put Waloke in her patrol car and transported Waloke to the Public Safety Building (PSB). During the ride to the PSB, Waloke asked Officer Black about her brother Chastyn. Waloke stated that Jeunesse was mean to her throughout the night. Waloke also said that she could always count on her brother and that Chastyn would say that he did it. Officer Black arrived at the PSB around 9:15 a.m. and put Waloke into an interview room. Officer Black brought water to Waloke and told her to try to get some rest. Waloke remained in the interview room, sleeping on and off until approximately 12:30 p.m.

[¶9.] Around 12:30 p.m., Rapid City Police Sergeant Warren Poches, Pennington County Sheriff Investigator Edwin Schultz, and Officer Black entered the interview room to speak with Waloke. Officer Black administered another preliminary breath test and Waloke's blood alcohol content was .210. Officer Black left the interview room after administering the breath test. Sergeant Poches asked Waloke if she knew where she was and if she knew what day it was. Waloke said that she was at the jail or police station and that it was Sunday the 21st. Then Sergeant Poches read Waloke her Miranda rights. When asked if she understood her rights, Waloke responded "yes." When asked if she wished to waive her rights and speak with the officers, Waloke told officers she would speak with them. Sergeant Poches asked Waloke to explain those rights. Waloke was silent and then responded that "it's a nonsense point." Sergeant Poches repeated the Miranda rights again, telling Waloke that she did not have to speak with him and she could have a lawyer. Waloke said that she wanted to "get this out of the way" and continued to speak with the officers. She stated that she had an altercation with Jeunesse. Sergeant Poches asked Waloke if she was trying to defend herself. Waloke said that she didn't know. The first interview continued and Waloke described Jeunesse's behavior, which included yelling at Waloke, breaking glass and calling Waloke names. Sergeant Poches asked Waloke to explain how a knife ended up in her hands, and Waloke denied that there was a knife in her hands. Waloke eventually stopped responding to the officers and laid her head in her arms on the table. At 2:22 p.m., Sergeant Poches and Investigator Schultz left the room.

[¶10.] Around 2:24 p.m., Officer Black came into the interrogation room to speak with Waloke. Waloke continued to say that she did not know what happened and was otherwise unresponsive to Officer Black. Investigator Schultz returned to the room about 12 minutes later and continued to question Waloke. Waloke remained unresponsive to questions. Rapid City Police Sergeant Matt Sargent, the case manager, came into the interrogation room at about 2:40 p.m. to try a different questioning technique, describing Waloke as the victim of Jeunesse. Waloke continued to be generally unresponsive to questions and stated that she wanted to go home and see her daughters. This interview concluded around 3:20 p.m. Then Waloke was processed for evidence. She had photographs taken of her injuries. Law enforcement officials also took her clothing and collected other physical evidence. During processing, Officer Black told Waloke that she was being charged with murder.

[¶11.] Just before 5 p.m., Waloke asked to speak with Sergeant Sargent again. Sergeant Sargent read Waloke her Miranda rights and began the second interrogation. Waloke told Sergeant Sargent that she understood her Miranda rights and wished to speak with him. At this time, Waloke admitted to stabbing Jeunesse because Jeunesse was attacking her. Waloke stated that she was standing near the sink, grabbed a knife from a dish drainer, and used the knife to ...


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