Defense asks judge to suppress statements



The judge will set a trial date after ruling on the motion to suppress statements.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- The attorney for Cicera Limbeck, who is accused of murder, has asked a judge not to allow the prosecution to use at trial any statements she made to police.
Limbeck, 18, of Elm Road, is accused of murder and felonious assault in the Labor Day 2006 stabbing death of 16-year-old Brittany Fuller of Swallow Street Southwest.
Limbeck's attorney, Phil Arbie, attempted to show Judge Andrew Logan in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on Friday that police didn't properly warn Limbeck of her rights against self-incrimination.
Limbeck is accused of having stabbed Fuller in the neck outside the apartment of Fuller's cousin Shienne Slusher at 2184 Peace Ave. N.W. and fleeing the city.
Limbeck was arrested outside her boyfriend's Cleveland home the following day, Sept. 5.
Cleveland Police Officer James Bellanca told David Toepfer, an assistant county prosecutor, that he and his partner received information that Warren police were looking for Limbeck and where she might be found.
When Bellanca set up a surveillance outside the boyfriend's house, he saw Limbeck and the boyfriend leaving it.
"It was a mistake," Bellanca said Limbeck blurted as he approached her.
During cross-examination by Arbie, Bellanca said he hadn't given Limbeck her Miranda warning.
Cleveland Patrol Officer Jennifer Robertson testified that she read Limbeck her rights after which Limbeck said, "It was self-defense."
Robertson told the court that Limbeck didn't appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Detective's questioning
Limbeck was returned to Warren from Cleveland by Warren Detective Jeffrey Hoolihan.
During questioning by Toepfer, Hoolihan said that he read Limbeck her rights and that she said she had retained a lawyer.
Hoolihan said Limbeck began answering his questions.
The detective testified that, during the questioning, Limbeck said something about a lawyer. When Hoolihan asked her to clarify what she had said, she didn't respond.
The interview ended when Limbeck said she wanted her attorney present, Hoolihan told the court.
Arbie told Judge Logan that his client is young and not familiar with the criminal justice system. He said that when Limbeck told Hoolihan she had an attorney, the detective should have asked her if she wanted him present.
Judge Logan gave Arbie until Jan. 19 to file a written brief and Toepfer until Jan. 29 to respond.
A trial date will be set after Judge Logan rules on the motion to suppress the statements.
yovich@vindy.com

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