What if a detective misrepresents facts to a suspect in an effort to induce a confession? Franklin County Court of Appeals reverses suppression of confession. In prosecution for arson, R.C. 2909.03(A)(2), trial court erred in granting motion to suppress confession where interrogator did not tell defendant he would avoid a sentence if he confessed and use of voice stress test was not coercion. State of Ohio vs. Britton Scholl (12/31/12).
Mr. Scholl was accused of either torching his own car or having someone do it so he could collect insurance proceeds. The arson investigation led to him pretty quickly. He agreed to an interview, signed a Miranda waiver, and took a voice stress analyzer (VSA). He was informed that he "failed" the VSA.
During the next 1-2 hours the detective suggested that burning your own car is not a crime and that if he would just admit to arson perhaps he could avoid prison, jail or a felony. The detective essentially told the defendant if he confessed he would not receive any serious consequences. This is a very common police technique.
The 10th District evaluates the existing state case law on "voluntariness" of confessions and then rules against the defendant.