MURDER CASE Defendant loses ruling
The judge also denied Monday's request to move his upcoming trial.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A Lawrence County judge has denied William Monday's request to suppress statements he made to police about the death of a Youngstown girl.
Monday, 22, along with David Garvey, 21, and Perry Ricciardi, 21, all of Struthers, are accused in the stabbing death of 12-year-old Shannon Leigh Kos of Youngstown.
The Midlothian Boulevard girl was killed Oct. 8, 2000, near an abandoned culvert in Mahoning Township, Lawrence County. Her body, with multiple stab wounds and burns, was found a few days later, police said.
The men are being held without bond in Lawrence County. Prosecutors have said they will ask for the death penalty if they are convicted.
Monday had asked Judge Dominick Motto of Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to suppress statements he made to police Oct. 12-13, 2000.
Centers on Miranda rights: During a hearing last summer, Monday's attorney Randall Hetrick argued that Monday was not read his Miranda warning by police and did not think he was free to leave when they questioned him.
The Miranda warning stems from a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says an arrested person has the legal right to remain silent during police questioning or ask for legal representation before making any statements.
Police testified that Monday was repeatedly told he could leave at any time during both meetings.
Judge Motto, in his ruling Tuesday, noted that police initially thought of Monday as a witness after he told them Garvey killed Shannon and therefore did not need to be given a Miranda warning.
Only later when Monday admitted he was involved did Pennsylvania State Police formally arrest him and read him his Miranda rights, the judge's decision says.
Judge Motto noted in his ruling that Monday was given a Miranda warning before taking a polygraph test, something regularly done by the state police officer, and given a second Miranda warning by a police officer after he made incriminating statements.
The judge noted that Monday was free to leave the interview anytime before police gave him his second Miranda warning.
Judge Motto also denied Monday's request to move his upcoming trial to another county. The judge did not issue a written ruling on that matter.
Charges: Monday, Garvey and Ricciardi were arrested about a week after Shannon's body was discovered, and all three face charges of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, criminal conspiracy to commit rape and abuse of a corpse.
Judge Motto is also considering a request by Ricciardi to suppress statements he made to police before his arrest.
More testimony about that request is expected Thursday and Friday in common pleas court.
Ricciardi maintains police discouraged him from getting an attorney when he was questioned.