Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in an Arizona murder case discussing whether the defendant’s statements to police were taken in violation of his Fifth Amendment right to be free from self-incrimination. Ultimately, the court determined that the admission of the defendant’s statements was proper because the police officers taking the statements did not violate the defendant’s rights in the process.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, in October 2015, police found a 75-year-old man stabbed to death in his home. The investigation led to the arrest of the defendant. After his arrest, detectives claim they read the defendant his Miranda warnings, however, the defendant alleged that the warnings were not read to him. While parts of the interview were recorded, the reading of the Miranda warnings were not.
Initially, the defendant denied all involvement, however, he later admitted to killing the victim because he thought the victim “was a child molester.” The defendant also admitted to stealing the victim’s truck and throwing the murder weapon in the Colorado River. The defendant was arrested, charged, and ultimately convicted of murder.