from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Michigan at Grand Rapids. No.
1:17-cr-00230-1-Janet T. Neff, District Judge.
Kenneth P. Tableman, KENNETH P. TABLEMAN, P.C., Grand Rapids,
Michigan, for Appellant.
M. Reust, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Grand Rapids,
Michigan, for Appellee.
Before: SUTTON, GRIFFIN, and READLER, Circuit Judges.
A. READLER, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
over five decades, the Supreme Court's pronouncement in
Miranda v. Arizona has informed the decision-making
process for suspected criminals in the custody of law
enforcement. Chief among the decisions facing a suspect in
custody are whether to speak to investigators and whether to
seek legal advice. To inform these choices, Miranda
requires that a suspect be advised by investigators of, among
other things, his right to "remain silent" and his
"right to counsel." Miranda v. Arizona,
384 U.S. 436, 444, 473 (1966). Those critical features of
Miranda ensure that a suspect understands, before
being questioned, that he is not required to talk to
interrogating officers and that he has the right to consult a
lawyer regarding any anticipated interrogation.
fundamental aspects of Miranda were honored here.
All agree that the Miranda warning given to
Defendant Michael Clayton omitted one element of the
traditional warning utilized by the Battle Creek, Michigan
Police Department-that a suspect has the right to have his
attorney with him "during questioning." But that
message was still conveyed to Clayton. In being informed of
his right to counsel, Clayton was told that the right begins
at the outset, before any questioning. That and the fact that
"[n]othing in the words used indicated that
counsel's presence would be restricted [during]
questioning," undermine Clayton's argument.
Florida v. Powell, 559 U.S. 50, 63 (2010). We
accordingly reject his Miranda challenge. We also
reject Clayton's challenge to his sentence and
AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.
Clayton was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for
sexually exploiting three young women, each of them minors.
The allegations against him were disturbing and graphic.
Clayton often used drugs to facilitate this abuse. His most
frequent victim, J.P., was a vulnerable minor with a drug
Clayton Sexually Exploits J.P.
early age, J.P. struggled to overcome her addiction to drugs.
In an effort to kick the habit, she moved away from Michigan.
She was only fifteen years old at the time.
returned to Michigan a year later. Almost immediately, she
met Clayton through a mutual friend, H.K., also a minor.
Clayton and his friend Ramiro Hernandez met up with J.P. and
H.K. one evening at Clayton's house. Clayton asked J.P.
her age, and she told him she was sixteen. The group smoked
marijuana and drank alcohol. Clayton also supplied the girls
with cocaine. And at some point that night, Clayton had sex
pattern of conduct continued over the next two weeks: Clayton
would invite J.P. over to his house, give her cocaine, and
have sex with her. Clayton was clear in his expectations of
J.P.: cocaine in exchange for sex. Clayton recorded the sex
acts on his iPhone, often publishing them on Snapchat, a
social media application where users can exchange photos,
videos, and texts. In the fourteen days that Clayton knew
J.P. he recorded twenty-seven sexually explicit videos of
this same period, Clayton also began introducing J.P. to
other men. The first was Freddie Cruz. One evening when Cruz
arrived at Clayton's home, J.P. was handed a small plate
with cocaine on it, which she was told was from Cruz. Clayton
asked J.P. to turn around while the two men commented on her
body and negotiated a price. Cruz then left.
that evening, Carlos Duran visited Clayton's home. As he
did with Cruz, Clayton negotiated with Duran a price for
J.P.-$100. Duran then took J.P. to the bedroom and had sex
with her while Clayton stood by with a gun. Clayton kept the
money paid by Duran.
during this disturbing sequence of events, J.P.'s nose
started bleeding, and she asked to take a break from using
cocaine. Clayton became suspicious and asked J.P. why she was
stopping. She told him that she felt sick. Ignoring her
answer, Clayton asked again. He then left the room. When he
returned, he was holding a gun. Clayton loaded the gun and
gave J.P. specific instructions: "[O]kay, this is what
we are going to do. I'm going to take this plate of coke
and we are going to go in the bedroom and we are going to
have sex." J.P. did as she was instructed.
Law Enforcement Intervenes, Finding A Terrified J.P. Hidden
In Clayton's Basement.
night, a frightened J.P. texted her father while at
Clayton's house. She was being held against her will, she
said, and she believed that her life was in danger.
Fear-stricken, her father called the Battle Creek Police
Department, notifying them of J.P.'s texts.
police and J.P.'s father raced to Clayton's house,
and the police announced their presence upon arrival.
Clayton's roommate, Blake Robbins, answered the door. He
told the officers J.P. had left with her friend, H.K., about
thirty minutes earlier. At that moment, J.P.'s father
received another text. J.P. alerted him that she was still in
the house. The officers stormed inside. They found Clayton
and, with him, a potpourri of criminality: two loaded guns, a
set of brass knuckles, cocaine powder, marijuana, and drug
paraphernalia. But they could not immediately locate J.P.
Upon reaching the basement, the officers finally found J.P.,
traumatized and hysterical. J.P. would later testify that she
had been forced into the basement in an effort to conceal her
presence. Officers took J.P. to the hospital, took Clayton
and Robbins into custody, and arrested Hernandez not long
While In Custody, Clayton Is Questioned By Law
Clayton arrived at the station, officers seized his phone and
began questioning him. Detective Sutherland conducted the
interrogations. Before any questioning, Sutherland read
Clayton his Miranda rights from a standard form used
by the Battle Creek Police Department. Sutherland told
Before we ask you any questions, you must understand your
-You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
-You have the right to talk to a lawyer before we ask you any
Det. Sutherland: If you cannot afford to
have a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any
questioning if you wish.
Do you understand your rights?
Clayton: Yes, sir.
giving these warnings, Sutherland misread the third
Miranda warning concerning the right to counsel.
Sutherland tracked the part of the form that states
"[y]ou have the right to talk to a lawyer before we ask
you any questions"-but omitted the following clause of
the warning-"and to have him/her with you during
questioning." (emphasis added). ...