All about Miranda
UPDATE 3:45pm Tuesday: Judge Leibovitz denies motions to sever; allows introduction of videotapes and statements as not-as-fact except for very brief excerpts for fact. More coming.
Statements continued as the issue of the day, and as expected Dylan Ward took the stand this morning, first questioned by Robert Spagnoletti. The thrust of his questioning centered on Ward’s perception of the “custodial atmosphere” created by the police at 1509 Swann, and later at the Violent Crimes Branch.
As was the case Monday, defense counsel offered the following to substantiate their case: that the housemates were “told” to sit, that Ward was told to leave the bathroom door open, that he was escorted by an MPD officer when he got dressed, that he was transported in a marked police car with a cage divider, that he was questioned and repeatedly left in a locked interview room for hours, and that he was taken to an FBI facility for additional questioning and a polygraph test.
Cross next…after crossing the jump.
Next was a confident Glenn Kirschner, working to rebut Ward’s claims. Points made included that when Ward used bathroom with the door open he really could not be observed by the officer, that when asked to get a robe for Joe Price (who was on his phone in his underwear and not engaged with the officers) he went up to the third floor unescorted, that he was permitted to use the bathroom at the VCU, offered food and water, and even asked for magazines while waiting. The kicker: while at the FBI, Ward signed a Miranda waiver and another for the poly.
Asked by Kirschner, Ward admitted neither he nor the others were frisked, cuffed, or physically coerced into going to VCU.
Appearing calm with Spagnoletti, Ward seemed to grow somewhat defensive and confrontational under Kirschner’s strong cross.
While no more witnesses may come (the defense may call one of the MPD back), no ruling on statements is expected today. Judge Lynn Leibovitz asked both sides to provide citations for their arguments in advance of her ruling.
The court comes back in session this afternoon. We’ll be there.
–posted by Michael