The Utah Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling prohibiting use of a confession from a Salt Lake County man convicted of killing his 19-month-old daughter.
Court of Appeals Judge Gregory K. Orme upheld an earlier appellate ruling that the confession of Carlos R. Sampson was illegally obtained because he did not clearly waive his right to have an attorney present.Sampson was convicted of second-degree murder in 1987 in the beating death of his daughter, Miyako Rayiesh Sampson, and is serving a five-year-to-life prison term.
On Nov. 24, 1986, Sampson reported that his daughter had been kidnapped. Later, he allegedly told Salt Lake County Sheriff's deputies that he hit his daughter and accidentally killed her.
He led deputies to a trash bin in American Fork where the girl's body was found.
According to court transcripts, Sampson was read his rights and asked if he wanted to talk to deputies. Sampson said, "Well, uh, should I have a lawyer, I mean, well, I'm really not worried about anything, it is just that . . . "
Sampson was cut off by deputies before he had a chance to elaborate on his need for counsel, said co-defense counsel Elizabeth Bowman.
The Court of Appeals said any request for defense counsel to be present during questioning is valid even if it's an "equivocal request."