THOMAS EARL GABRIEL A/K/A THOMAS GABRIEL A/K/A THOMAS EARL GABRIELLE APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 10/13/2016
FROM WHICH APPEALED: WARREN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. M.
JAMES CHANEY JR. JUDGE
OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER JUSTIN TAYLOR COOK ATTORNEY FOR
OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SCOTT STUART ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE
RICHARD EARL SMITH JR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY
GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND GREENLEE, JJ.
Thomas Earl Gabriel appeals his conviction of child
molestation and argues that the trial court erroneously
admitted into evidence his statement to the police. Because
we find the statement was neither relevant, nor probative, we
reverse and remand.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In 2015, Gabriel lived with his wife Ann, Ann's daughter
Ashley, and Ashley's three young children. On March 5,
2015, Ashley was changing her son's diaper when her four-
year-old daughter Amber indicated that Gabriel had touched her
inappropriately. Specifically, Ashley stated she was changing
her son's diaper, "when he reached down and grabbed
himself." Ashley then heard Amber say, "Eww,
he's touching himself the way Pawpaw touches me."
Ashley immediately checked Amber's vaginal area and
noticed it was "very red," so she took Amber to the
hospital for an examination. A physician determined that
Amber's symptoms were consistent with sexual molestation.
Investigators with the Warren County Sheriff's Department
went to the hospital and interviewed Ashley. Both Ashley and
the investigators were aware of Gabriel's prior
conviction of child molestation in Texas and his subsequent
registration as a sex offender. After leaving the hospital,
the investigators went to Gabriel's home. Gabriel's
wife Ann had a police scanner and knew law enforcement was on
the way to their house. As a result, Gabriel took a shower.
The investigators arrived and saw Gabriel, freshly showered,
standing outside. As the investigators approached Gabriel, he
turned and placed his hands behind his back. The officers
advised Gabriel that he was not under arrest but went ahead
and read Gabriel his Miranda rights. Gabriel
voluntarily waived his rights and spoke to the officers. He
also consented to a search of his home. During the search,
Gabriel verbally consented to the seizure of his computer and
computer equipment. Before leaving, the officers asked
Gabriel if he would be willing to meet officials at the
police station in order to give a recorded statement. Gabriel
Prior to the recorded interview, Gabriel was again advised of
his Miranda rights, and he provided a verbal and
written waiver of those rights. He also read and signed a
list of all items seized from his house during the consensual
During the interview, Gabriel denied the allegations Amber
made and openly discussed various topics. Specifically,
Gabriel discussed his prior conviction of child molestation
as well as his sexual activity with his wife, including
experimentation with bondage. Gabriel stated he would
oftentimes play video games on his computer and would allow
Amber to sit on his lap while he played those games. Gabriel
further stated that he smokes marijuana and watches ...