The evidence is to be viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution. To warrant interference with a verdict of guilt on the ground of insufficiency of evidence, the court must be convinced that the evidence was manifestly inadequate and that consequent injustice has been done.
However, should the accused offer evidence that he was insane, the presumption of sanity disappears and the burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was sane at the time of the offense.
Carol Lee Koon appeals from an 11 June conviction of eight counts of sexual assault in the third degree in the Circuit Court of Randolph County. On 23 June the court denied Mrs.
Koon's motions for judgment of acquittal or a new trial following a hearing. On 27 August Mrs. Koon was sentenced to two consecutive one to five year terms in the Pruntytown Correctional Center in Grafton. On 6 April we granted Mrs. Koon's petition for appeal. In fall , Mrs. Koon, a thirty-nine year old mother of four children, was a sixth grade science teacher at Buckannon- Upshur Middle School.
Jeremy Burr, a thirteen year old sixth grader, was one of her students. Koon to tutor Jeremy. The tutoring sessions occurred in the living room of Mrs. Levere's home where Jeremy was living with his mother. Although the tutoring lasted only three to four weeks, Mrs.
Koon continued to come to Mrs. Levere's house to visit Jeremy several days a week from 4: In November , Mrs. Koon and Jeremy Burr engaged in oral and vaginal intercourse. Koon and Jeremy Burr subsequently engaged on other occasions in oral and vaginal intercourse in the van on a Buckannon street, at a boat ramp near West Virginia Wesleyan College, at Buckannon City Park and in Mrs.
In late December , Mrs. Koon admitted to her friend Molly Straight that she was sexually involved with a student. After consulting with a child abuse hotline, Mrs. Straight wrote a letter to Mrs. Koon stating that because the affair was extremely deviant, Mrs. Straight had a moral and legal obligation to turn her in. Koon insisted that the relationship was with a college student, Mrs. Straight eventually grew convinced that the affair was with Jeremy Burr. On 7 June , Mrs. Straight reported her suspicions to Ms.
Hinzeman then contacted the Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney's office. On 13 June , the prosecutor's office initiated an investigation into Mrs.
Trooper Holley and Prosecutor Thurman interviewed Mrs. Straight who told them she believed Mrs. Koon was sexually involved with Jeremy Burr. Payne admitted having received several complaints from other teachers concerning inappropriate actions by Mrs. Koon toward her students. The officers then met with Jeremy Burr. Jeremy detailed the approximate dates, times and locations at which he and Mrs.
Koon had engaged in sexual intercourse. Thurman and Trooper Holley arrived at Mrs. Trooper Holley apprised Mrs. Koon of the serious allegations of sexual misconduct involving Jeremy Burr. Trooper Holley informed Mrs. Koon that they were investigating those allegations and that, if she was willing, to obtain a statement from her concerning the allegations.
Koon agreed to make such a statement. Before giving her statement, Mrs. Koon read and signed a DPS Form 79, in which she acknowledged that she understood her Miranda rights and chose to give up those rights. Koon then stated that she was in love with Jeremy Burr and described their various sexual encounters.
Koon's statement, the officers placed her under arrest. Koon was subsequently indicted by an Upshur County Grand Jury on nine separate counts of sexual assault in the third degree pursuant to West Virginia Code B-5 a 2 .
See footnote 1 On 10 April a suppression hearing was conducted by the Upshur County Circuit Court regarding the admissibility of Mrs. Koon's statements on 14 June The court found that Mrs. Koon knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived her right to counsel and her right to refrain from making self-incriminating statements. Accordingly, the court refused to suppress the statements. Koon was found guilty of eight counts of sexual assault in the third degree, all felonies.
On 23 June the court imposed a total sentence of not less than two, nor more than ten years confinement in the penitentiary. Koon assigns numerous errors which we shall address seriatim. Koon argues that the trial court erred by failing to suppress her statement given on 14 June In accord Syllabus point 2, State v.
The general rule in West Virginia with regard to the admissibility of confessions is that "[t]he state must prove, at least by a preponderance of the evidence, that confessions or statements of an accused which amount to admissions of all or a part of an offense were voluntary before such may be admitted into the evidence of a criminal case. In accord Syllabus point 1, Vance, supra; Syllabus point 2, State v. In determining the voluntariness of an inculpatory statement, the trial court must hold a hearing on the matter.
On review, a trial court's decision regarding the voluntariness of a confession will not be disturbed unless it is plainly wrong or clearly against the weight of the evidence. Syllabus point 3, Vance, supra. Evidence presented at the 10 April suppression hearing established the following undisputed facts: Koon of the allegations of sexual misconduct made by Jeremy Burr.
Trooper Holley also informed Mrs. Koon that she was not under arrest and was free to leave at any time. When Trooper Holley asked Mrs. Koon for a response to the allegations, Mrs. Koon voluntarily agreed to make a statement. Koon then read and signed a DPS Form 79 in which she stated that she understood her Miranda rights and chose to give up those rights. Following the interview, Mrs. Koon reviewed and signed a written account of her statement attesting to its accuracy.
Koon also signed a disclaimer in which she averred that the statement she had given was not obtained through the use of any threats, inducements or coercion on the part of Trooper Holley or Prosecutor Thurman. Koon was a well-educated woman who understood that Trooper Holley was a state policeman. Both men testified that there was no evidence that Mrs. Koon was intoxicated when she gave the statement. According to Trooper Holley, during the two hours they spent with Mrs.
Koon she carried on a normal conversation and did not appear sluggish or jittery. Following her arrest that night, Mrs. Koon informed the police that she was not under the influence of any drug. Furthermore, the court noted that Mrs. Koon's testimony revealed that her memory of the night in question was vivid because she remembered details of the conversation. Based on this evidence, it is plain that Mrs. Koon knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived her right to counsel and her right against self-incrimination.
The trial court did not abuse his discretion when he admitted Mrs. Koon's 14 June statement into evidence. Koon further maintains that because she was arrested in her home, without a warrant and without exigent circumstances, the arrest was unlawful. Koon's theory, because the arrest was unlawful, her statement must be suppressed as the fruit of an illegal warrantless arrest.
In accord Syllabus point 3, State v. The facts in this case clearly show that Mrs. Koon's statement was procured before her arrest and thus was not obtained as a result of the arrest.
Far from exploiting an illegal arrest to obtain a statement from Mrs. Koon, the police used the statement to make the arrest.