KOS SLAYING Accused: Suppress evidence
A hearing on the matter will be Dec. 19 in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- One of the three men accused in the stabbing death of a 12-year-old Youngstown girl doesn't think prosecutors should be able to use information he gave to police before his arrest because they discouraged him from contacting an attorney.
Perry S. Ricciardi, 21, of Struthers, has filed a motion in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to suppress his statements to police and any evidence that resulted from those statements, said Dennis A. Elisco, Riccardi's lawyer.
Charges: Ricciardi, along with William Monday, 22, and David Garvey, 21, both of Struthers, face charges of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, criminal conspiracy to commit rape and abuse of a corpse in the Oct. 8 stabbing death of Shannon Leigh Kos.
Elisco said police discouraged his client when he asked for legal help and also Ricciardi's mother when she attempted to contact a lawyer before they questioned him Oct. 14.
"The real irony of the situation is he was advised [by police] that he didn't need an attorney because there was no reason for one and the only basis for them charging him with anything is what he told them," Elisco said.
Statements given by two other men don't reveal that Ricciardi was present when Shannon died.
Judge Dominick Motto of common pleas court will hear testimony on the matter at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 19.
What lawyer contends: Elisco said responses Pennsylvania State Police troopers gave Ricciardi and his mother when they sought legal help were inappropriate. He refused to reveal what was said, contending it would all come out during the hearing.
"Police officers are entitled to use trickery to a certain extent [when questioning a suspect]; however, you can't deceive someone of their constitutional rights," Elisco added.
Police arrested Ricciardi a few days after taking Monday and Garvey into custody.
Authorities were led to the first two men after Shannon's classmates revealed that she had a crush on Monday and considered him her boyfriend. Police have not explained how they determined Ricciardi was involved.
Child's body found: Shannon's body, burned and stabbed multiple times, was found near a railroad crossing in Mahoning Township, Lawrence County, about three days after she disappeared from her Midlothian Boulevard home in Youngstown.
Ricciardi's statement from his Oct. 14 meeting with state police was used by authorities in the police affidavit filed to support the charges against him.
Ricciardi told police that the men decided to rape and kill Shannon sometime after taking her to the remote spot and refused to take her home when she asked, the affidavit says.
Ricciardi told police that Monday held a knife to Shannon's throat as Ricciardi and Garvey pulled down her jeans and underwear and then Garvey tried to rape her.
Ricciardi also told police he saw Monday slit Shannon's throat with the knife and turned away as both Monday and Garvey stabbed her multiple times, the police statement says.