A judge has thrown out the statements a murder suspect made in a police interview because investigators continued to question the man after he requested a lawyer.
After being read his rights, Mark Elden Erickson, 30, continued to be questioned by Beaver County sheriff's deputies investigating the slaying of Timothy McEnaney.
"He said, 'I want to talk to my attorney,' and (the deputy) just bulldozed over that and continued to question him," Erickson's lawyer, Aric Cramer, told the Deseret News on Tuesday.
The interview was recorded, and Cramer called the line of questioning "pretty egregious," even after the man was read his Miranda rights. Cramer went to court, seeking to have the statements suppressed.
Beaver County Attorney Von Christiansen stipulated to Cramer's request, and 5th District Court Judge Jon Walton ordered Erickson's statements suppressed from his upcoming hearings.
"Every once in a while you encounter a situation where legally it's smarter to stipulate rather than fight something you'll lose," Christiansen said Tuesday.
The prosecutor said he did not believe the deputy crossed any kind of line, but he said that the investigator didn't stop and clarify some things post-Miranda during the in-custody interview.
"It's a huge win for us," Cramer said of his client. "He told me, 'I asked for an attorney, and they just kept after me.' This was an important issue for him. What few rights he had had been violated."
Prosecutors still have other evidence upon which they can rely. Erickson is accused of gunning down McEnaney, 32, inside the crowded Timberline Inn restaurant in Beaver on Dc. 2. McEnaney was having dinner with Erickson's ex-wife at the time of the slaying."We have a whole restaurant full of people," Christiansen said. A preliminary hearing, where the judge will decide if there's enough evidence to make Erickson stand trial, is scheduled to begin July 9 in Beaver. Erickson is charged with aggravated murder, but Beaver County prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty.