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Judge Throws out John Couey's Confession

This is the second confession about this case that was thrown out because he was questioned without an attorney present.

Jurors deciding the fate of the man accused of kidnapping, raping and killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford will not hear statements he allegedly made to detectives questioning him about an unrelated case, a judge ruled Monday.

Circuit Judge Ric Howard said Orlando police detectives should not have been allowed to question John Evander Couey about a 1985 murder case because he had already told Citrus County authorities he wanted a lawyer -- the same reason a taped confession to Jessica's slaying was thrown out in June.

The statements Howard ruled on Monday involve unrecorded comments Couey allegedly gave to Orlando police after he was arrested in March 2005. They asked Couey about the unsolved 1985 murder of 15-year-old Regina Armstrong because he had grown up near Orlando.

Orlando police Detective Joel Wright testified Friday that Couey told him: "I wish I could help you, but I can't ... If I did it I would tell you, they can only kill me once."


Even though he's confessed to Jessica's murder twice, he has pleaded not guilty anyway - probably by reason of insanity.

Couey has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery on a child, kidnapping and burglary in the girl's death. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 12 with jury selection in Miami. The trial was moved to South Florida in the hopes of finding an unbiased jury.

Prosecutors have said they were confident physical evidence would be enough to convict Couey and secure a death sentence.

Let's hope so. As much as I'm sickened by the fact that the confessions have been thrown out, I'm even more sickened by the fact that the cops screwed it up. But come on. If he is acquitted because these two confessions were thrown out (which I doubt), the verdict will be a complete laughing stock because everyone one knows by his own admission that he did it.

Comments (8)

Any reason why this guy is ... (Below threshold)

Any reason why this guy is even still alive?

Ah, so violation of his civ... (Below threshold)

Ah, so violation of his civil rights is OK, because after all, he is guilty?

Sorry, IF he did it, which is yet for a jury to decide, and the state loses the case because they violated his civil rights, then the POLICE, not the verdict, should be the laughing stock.

I gotta go with Tim on this... (Below threshold)

I gotta go with Tim on this one. A citizen is entitled to have an attorney present at their request, and he requested an attorney. At that point, the officers should have ceased questioning Couey until his attorney was present. Otherwise, we let the police get in on the "fake but accurate" game, and that's not a place we want to go.

Either we believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law, having been given due process and every chance to clear himself, or we just want vengeance on whomever is close to hand. The due process of law is specifically designed to prevent the latter, even if it means sometimes not convicting someone who really is a monstrous criminal.

The detectives that got the... (Below threshold)

The detectives that got the confession out of him without his miranda rights most likely are democrats. Only they can screw up this bad.

Wonder how judges and bleed... (Below threshold)

Wonder how judges and bleeding heart libnuts would feel if it was their child that was raped and murdered?

Anyone wanna bet that they'd be a bit 'less' compassionate than they were towards Tookie or those million+ babies they helped murder last year.

Ok so the freak molests and... (Below threshold)

Ok so the freak molests and suffocates by burying that beautiful little girl next to the trailer and then confesses twice and His confession is thrown out!

Sounds like the judge needs the saddam treatment!

Actually, the police need a... (Below threshold)

Actually, the police need a little bit of a whooping, not the judge. The law is pretty clear about this, and the Mirand act has been in place for decades now.
That a suspect, and a big catch like this one, was interogated without council offered or present?
I can see if he confessed where they caught him, before they even had the cuffs on him, being called a BS charge of his rights being violated. But not once he was in police custody on police property. I blame the cops for screwing up, and the DA for not catching it and working around it.

Actually if Couey is acquit... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

Actually if Couey is acquitted, that could be the best option. Say for instance he is acquitted on Monday. By Friday, he will trip and fall into a garbage bag and accidentally dismember himself.

I'm not saying I condone vigilante justice. I wouldn't be terribly upset either. Some whack job will make an example of him, and the police will mysteriously breakdown next to a Krispy Kreme when the 911 call comes in that Couey's gibs are all over his yard.






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