SALT LAKE CITY – Legal arguments over a confession of a man accused of selling drugs to Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka's son, which led to his fatal heroin overdose in March 2007, could start anew.
The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that a 4th District judge should rehear arguments on whether to suppress the confession of Gareth Bozung, who is accused of selling drugs to 27-year-old Joshua Ruzicka. The court ruled that the district court erred in not allowing attorneys to debate whether the man's confession could be admitted as evidence.
"On remand, the district court should consider the totality of the circumstances and any of the nonexclusive factors discussed in this opinion," Chief Justice Christine Durham wrote in a ruling released on Friday.
Gayle Ruzicka did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.
In May 2007, Bozung was arrested by Lehi police on unrelated drug charges. At that time, officers questioned him about Ruzicka's death, according to court documents. Police say they advised Bozung of his Miranda rights. He then told them that he sold Joshua Ruzicka a bag of heroin for $5 the night of the overdose, court documents state.
According to court documents, defense attorneys argued that police did not adequately advise Bozung of his rights against self-incrimination or his right to an attorney before they started interviewing him.
Fourth District Court Judge Claudia Laylock ruled in favor of Bozung and allowed the confession to be suppressed.
Prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss but asked the Utah Supreme Court to remand the case back to the district court to rehear the suppression arguments. The Supreme Court agreed.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company