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NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA SECOND DISTRICT Case No. 2D98-4482 SHERMAN GRASLE, Appellant, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee. _______________________ Opinion filed January 12, 2000. Appeal from the Circuit Court for Polk County; Robert E. Pyle, Judge. James M. Campbell, Orlando, for Appellant. Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and John T. Salgado, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee. STRINGER, Judge. Sherman Grasle appeals the trial court's denial of a motion to suppress his confession to armed robbery. Because we find that his confession was not freely and voluntarily given, we reverse. Background The gravamen of Grasle's argument is that his confession was induced by a promise of leniency from interviewing officer, Deputy Michael Steele. Deputy Steele was a school resource officer at Grasle's high school (Colonial) where the two developed a friendship. Deputy Steele was later transferred to the sheriff's auto theft division, but became involved in this case after being called by his successor at Colonial concerning a stolen Toyota which had been seized on campus. Grasle's book bag was apparently discovered in the car. Consequently, Deputy Steele contacted
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the seventeen-year-old Grasle to inquire about the stolen vehicle, and Grasle agreed to accompany Steele to the sheriff's office to discuss the matter. During this telephone conversation, Steele made it clear to Grasle that he was not under arrest, and that his cooperation was purely voluntary. Deputy Steele later picked the young man up at home and drove him to the sheriff's office for an interview. While in route, Steele told Grasle that he would not be charged with grand theft auto, and that he intended to charge "the person that took [the car], and who has been driving it around." Once they arrived, the deputy asked Grasle some preliminary questions and then obtained a recorded statement. In his statement, Grasle identified Dadrin Grissett as the person who stole the Toyota. After concluding his inquiry concerning the stolen car, Steele asked Grasle if he "knew anything
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