Retrial begins for man whose murder conviction was tossed

December 7, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) — A second trial has begun for a man whose murder conviction was tossed by the Oregon Supreme Court, which found he was wrongfully interrogated after asking for a lawyer.

Robert Darnell Boyd is opting for a jury trial this time after a judge heard his case the first time, The Register-Guard reported Thursday.

The state’s high court ruled last year that Boyd’s statements to police shouldn’t have been introduced at his 2012 trial in the beating death of his girlfriend, Allyson Archibald.

Boyd did not dispute at the first trial that he had killed Archibald in 2010, but his defense attorney argued at the time that he did not intend to kill her.

To gain a murder conviction, prosecutors must prove the defendant intended to kill.

Boyd was sentenced to life in prison, but the state’s high court sided with him on his appeal over statements he made at the Springfield police station after his arrest.

During opening statements for the retrial, prosecutor Stephen Morgan said that shortly before Archibald was killed, four people driving home in a pickup truck heard her scream and stopped to ask if she was all right. Archibald said she was OK as Boyd aggressively approached the truck and told them to mind their own business, Morgan said.

The four then drove down the block and called police before circling back to see Boyd running away and Archibald bleeding on the ground, Morgan said.

Police, assisted by a police dog, found him a mile away with the 18-year-old woman’s blood on his hands, shoes and pants.

According to court documents from the Oregon Supreme Court case, Boyd told a sergeant and a detective at the Springfield police station that he did not remember what happened.

He expressed disbelief the woman was dead, asked why he was under arrest and requested a lawyer.

Seven hours later, the jailed Boyd initiated discussion with police, asking a sergeant: “Is anybody going to tell me why I’m here? I need to call my baby girl because she’s going to wonder where I’m at.”

The sergeant asked Boyd if “baby girl” referred to Archibald. He also asked if Boyd recalled the detective telling him why he had been arrested.

“I just told him that I was present when Detective Myers told him that she was dead and he was under arrest for killing her,” the sergeant recalled at a court hearing.

“He got real agitated and started breathing heavy and clenching his fists and told me, ‘no, no, she ain’t dead, you’re lying’ and then he tells me ‘I want to talk to the detective that you said I talked to.’”

Boyd then waived his Miranda rights and spoke to the detective, admitting there had been an altercation. Boyd said he blacked out after hitting her once. When Myers said the woman’s injuries were inconsistent with a single punch, Boyd requested an attorney and the interview ended.

Though Boyd questioned the sergeant, the high court ruled the sergeant responded with questions likely to elicit incriminating responses.

Because Boyd’s request to speak with the detective “was hardly unprompted,” the opinion states, everything he said after becoming agitated and waiving his Miranda rights should have been inadmissible at trial.

The state unsuccessfully argued the defendant had asked a confusing question and the sergeant sought clarity.


Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

Update hourly