Suspect Asks for a "Lawyer, Dog;" Court Rules He Asked For a "Lawyer Dog"
Dog…are you serious?
Warren Demesme is a 24-year-old from Louisiana who might spend the rest of his life in prison partially because the Louisiana Supreme Court doesn’t understand slang.
In 2015, Demesme was arrested for sexually assaulting two underage girls in New Orleans. He waived his Miranda rights during the interrogation, and then invoked his constitutional right to a lawyer.
Here is what he told the police:
“This is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog cause this is not what’s up.”
After someone asks for their lawyer police are supposed to stop integrating the witness. However, that didn’t happen. The officers continued asking Demesme questions. In the process, Demesme provided many details that incriminated himself. He was then charged with aggravated rape and indecent behavior with a juvenile
Fast forward two years, Demesme got a lawyer, a public defender named Derwyn D. Bunton, who was trying to have his incriminating statements thrown out of his upcoming trial because, duh, he wasn’t granted his right to counsel after asking for one.
That didn’t happen though. Last week, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected this request by a margin of 6-1, claiming that the way Demesme asked for a lawyer was “ambiguous.” Meaning, it wasn’t clear if Demesme was asking for a “lawyer, dog”— like, “give me a lawyer, sir” — or some kind of lawyer dog. Last we checked, the only lawyer dog out there is the meme.
Here is what Associate Justice Scott J. Crichton wrote about the decision:
“In my view, the defendant’s ambiguous and equivocal reference to a ‘lawyer dog’ does not constitute an invocation of counsel that warrants termination of the interview.”
This is a pretty outrageous ruling, considering that, if convicted of the rape, Demesme faces a mandatory life sentence in prison.
Bunton responded to the outcome by saying “We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t win.”
Source: Washington Post