Suspect was told of rights, police say
William Monday's attorney wants statements his client made to police suppressed.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Police investigating the death of a 12-year-old Youngstown girl say their suspect couldn't have been more helpful, holding bags as they sorted through his trash and handing over a pair of bloody sneakers.
William Monday even offered to take a polygraph test, which he ultimately failed, investigators said during an evidence suppression hearing Friday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.
Monday, 22, David Garvey, 20, and Perry Ricciardi, 21, all of Struthers, are accused in the stabbing death of Shannon Leigh Kos.
They each face charges of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, criminal conspiracy to commit rape and abuse of a corpse.
Prosecutors have said they will pursue the death penalty if the men are convicted.
The Midlothian Boulevard girl was last seen alive Oct. 8 and her body was found three days later in an abandoned culvert in Mahoning Township, Lawrence County.
Authorities say she had been repeatedly stabbed and her body burned.
Monday, Garvey and Ricciardi were arrested a few days later and are in jail without bond. A trial is expected to begin sometime in the spring.
Argument: Monday's attorney, Randall Hetrick, said statements his client made to police before his arrest should not be permitted as evidence at the trial because Monday was not warned of his Miranda rights and did not believe he was free to go during questioning.
However, Pennsylvania State Police troopers and Struthers Police Department detectives say Monday was repeatedly told he could leave at any time during questioning.
State troopers questioned Monday after Shannon's classmates at the Choffin Career Center, where she was a seventh-grader in the gifted and talented program, told police she had a schoolgirl crush on Monday and considered him her boyfriend.
State Trooper Donald Neill said Monday agreed to go with him and Trooper Joseph Vascetti to the Struthers Police Department to talk about Shannon's disappearance and death.
Struthers detectives Jeff Pantall and Simone Ugolini said they were present during the interview and told Monday he could go at any time.
"Mr. Monday got upset with one of the troopers, saying something like 'You think I did it,'" said Pantall. "I've known Billy Monday for years, just seeing him around, and I told him 'Don't get upset. These guys are just asking questions. You can leave.'"
But instead of leaving, Monday offered to take a polygraph test and let police search his Poland Avenue home.
"He was saying he wanted to cooperate. He wanted to straighten this out. He had nothing to hide," Pantall said.
The officers noted that Monday told them he couldn't clearly remember Oct. 8 because he had been smoking marijuana.
Search: Ugolini said Monday held a trash bag as the Struthers detective searched his garbage. Vascetti added that during the search of Monday's home, the suspect led him to a pair of black sneakers that had blood on the left shoe.
Matthew Mangino, Lawrence County district attorney, said tests to determine if the blood is Shannon's are pending.
Neill said Monday and Garvey, who also lived in the Poland Avenue home, agreed to meet state police the next day for a polygraph test in New Castle.
State troopers said Monday spent several hours being questioned at the state police barracks in New Castle on Oct. 14, where he moved around freely and went outside alone to smoke.
Monday was arrested later that night after admitting he was involved in Shannon's death, said Trooper Scott Patterson.
Monday continued to talk to police after his arrest and being advised of his right to an attorney, said Trooper Janice Wilson.
Delay: Judge Motto said he will delay his decision on the evidence suppression request until another state trooper, Darryl Horton, is available to testify.
A date for a second hearing has not been set.