An admission by Von L. Taylor that he murdered two people at a family cabin in December cannot be admitted at the 3rd District Court trial of Edward S. Deli, who also stands accused of the killings, a judge has ruled.
Taylor, who pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder, allegedly told a psychiatrist he was the only one who killed both Beth Potts, 76, and Kay Tiede, 49, at the Tiede family cabin during a Christmastime crime spree.When Taylor spoke to the psychiatrist during a court-ordered examination, he had entered a plea of not guilty to the crimes by reason of insanity. "The statements were made because he felt it would enhance his insanity defense," said Judge Frank Noel.
During a closed hearing in the judge's chambers Friday, Taylor said the statement he made to the psychiatrist that he alone killed the women was not true, Noel said. Taylor's denying the statement plays to the state's argument that Edward S. Deli, 22, participated in the slayings.
The judge agreed with the state's claim that the statement to the psychiatrist constituted hearsay.
During the preliminary hearing in January, Linae Tiede, who was in the cabin when her mother and grandmother were killed, said Taylor said to Deli, "I had to shoot the bitch twice in the head," referring to the killing of Potts.
The evidence, however, later showed that Potts had only one head wound, diminishing the trustworthiness of Taylor's statements, the judge said.
The judge again denied defense attorney Martin Gravis' motion for a mistrial, even though Gravis added two new complaints Monday to the motion.
Gravis made the original motion under the complaint that a witness' statement that Deli's attorneys are public defenders could prejudice the jury's opinion of his client. On Monday, Gravis complained that a metal detector outside the Coalville courtroom represented an unusually high level of security that could make jurors believe Deli was dangerous. "It is certainly an indication the defendant is dangerous. I think it's prejudicial."
Gravis also believed that a reference that may have been made about a security officer's rank implied the trial was the subject of unusually tight security.
"When you add all of them together, the repeated effects would be enough to grant my client a mistrial," Gravis said.
A prosecutor said the security was for Deli's own protection against anyone who may be upset at him for the crimes he is charged with.
The judge again denied the motion.
Lanae Tiede testified again Monday and said Deli showed no surprise or shock following the shooting deaths. "He acted calm, just like nothing had happened."
"Did he ever express any remorse?" asked Summit County Attorney Robert Adkins.
"No he didn't," she replied.
"Did Deli ever say to you or (say) in your presence that he did not shoot?" Adkins asked.
"No," she replied.
"Were there ever any disagreements between Mr. Deli and Mr. Taylor?" Adkins asked.
"No," she replied.
The prosecution maintains that Deli participated in the shootings and was a willing participant with Taylor.