Parties: Robert Anthony Williams / Appellant Crispus Nix, Warden of the Iowa State Penitently / Appellee
Facts: On December 26, 1968, Robert A. Williams was arrested for murdering a 10 year old girl in Des Moines Iowa on December24, 1968. The Body was found in a ditch besides a gravel road in Polk County. When Williams was arrested, investigators agreed with the awaiting counsel that he would not interrogate William during the ride to the police station, but the investigator improperly questioned Williams leading the investigator to the site of where the body was found.
Procedural History: During the first trial Williams was found Guilty of first degree murder. Since Williams was illegally interrogated on the way to police station and led the officer to the location of the body, the rights of Williams were violated. The motion to suppress evidence obtained from the statements was denied. In the second trial the statements made by Williams were not included and was again found guilty of first degree murder. Williams then continued to appeal because of the violation of his rights in the Sixth Amendment. He claims the evidence used from the body was illegally obtained through his statements and should’ve be suppressed.
Issue: Even though the court did not allow the self incriminating statements from Williams in the second trial, the evidence such as the condition of the body and autopsy results was evidence admitted through illegal interrogation due to police unlawful conduct. The interrogating of Williams violated his right to counsel as stated in the Sixth Amendment, which he did not waive.
Holding: The United States Supreme Court held the previous decisions made from the lower courts because the evidence would’ve been inevitably found by lawful means from the search party and that the police did not act in bad faith.
1. Motion to suppress evidence was denied in first trial.
The court held the evidence was “fruit” of the case. The jury found Williams guilty of first degree murder.
2. Habeas corpus to the United States District Court for the southern District of Iowa
Agreed that the evidence had been wrongly admitted such as the statements made while under the custody of Detective Leaming and were not admissible in the second trial. However, the body and condition were sustained in the second trial since it would’ve