Government Quotes the Defendants’ Words Back At Them
The Government responded earlier this week, not surprisingly, in opposition to the separate defense filings to suppress the defendants’ statements they gave the night of the murder from being entered at trial.
In doing so, AUSA Glenn Kirschner revealed new details about what Joe did immediately after finding Robert’s body, and which sleeping aid Dylan used the night of the murder.
In early March, the defendants filed separation motions to suppress their statements they made the night of the murder because their 4th, 5th and 6th Consitutional rights were violated because their statements were obtained in custodial settings.
Furthermore, since they claimed they were in custodial situation, meaning held against their free will, and not read their Miranda rights, the statements provided were in violation of the law and unusable at trial.
This is a serious claim the defendants have leveled against the government and could dramatically alter the contours of the trial. Understanding the gravity of the motion, Judge Lynn Leibovitz delayed ruling on the motion at the last hearing.
The Government’s response, in painstaking detail, recounts the events of the evening, from when the MPD first arrived on the scene, to the transportation of the defendants to the Violent Crimes Branch, to the statements that the defendants gave while there.
In each of these instances, the government notes that they followed standard operating procedure when interrogating witnesses. They follow-up with the defendants’ own words that they were there voluntarily, and that they understood that. The response quotes their words back at them.
On the Miranda issue, the government notes that the defendants summoned law enforcement to their home, the defendants ALL agreed to more, in-depth interviews at the Violent Crimes Branch, no weapon was ever drew upon, they were offered water and restroom breaks when ever they needed. While the government agrees that the interviews were increasingly skeptical and some deliberately “inaccurate”, that does not argue in favor of finding of custody.
In making these points, after the jump we learn new information about Joe and his story from that night. Questions arise too, like whatever happened to the supposed first responding MPD Officer Diane Durham?
He wasn’t at Robert’s side from the time he found him until the EMTs arrived.
The Government writes:
“Mr. Price replied that he woke up, having heard a door chime, so he went downstairs in the house to check out what was going on. He said that he noticed that the back door was ajar, so he went outside to look around.
Seeing nothing, he came back into the residence, shut the back door and went up stairs where he saw the decedent in the guest bedroom with a knife on chest. He told his housemate to call 9-1-1.”
These details come from Eric Hampton, the first MPD Officer who arrived on the scene. However, the government notes that Hampton reversed the sequence of events and that he found Robert’s body first, then went downstairs to check the first floor.
Either way, this new detail about Joe’s movement calls into question previous official statements about what Joe did in the immediate moments after the murder, according to the defendants.
If this is account is true, then it makes Victor’s 9-1-1 call reference about being afraid to go downstairs because the intruder was still in the house less believable because Joe went down there and found nobody, yet Victor is still afraid on the 9-1-1 call. This is among the many troubling aspects this change in story brings up.
Also, we learn that the sleeping aid Dylan Ward took the night of the murder was Lunesta, not Ambien. This is an important point because a few folks have speculated that Ambien’s side effects include Zombie-like behavior, and maybe the murder was committed in this state.
A quick google search shows that while Ambien-users report incidences of Zombie-like behavior Lunesta-users report none. Scratch that theory.
For now, though, it appears that Kirschner may be on solid legal grounds for Leibovitz to rule in his favor on the motion to suppress at this Monday’s status hearing.
And those attachments to this document that were mentioned earlier? There are nearly 200 pages of transcripts from the interrogations of Price, Ward and Zaborsky from the night of August 2.
Those remarkable documents to come next week after Monday’s report.
— Posted by David