Police properly obtained statement, judge rules.

Staff report


A judge has ruled police properly informed a murder suspect of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to have legal representation before they interviewed him.

Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court found the police interview with Janero Mitchell “proper and not eligible for suppression.”

The judge, however, also ruled Monday that the video interview “shall not be displayed to a jury without the court’s further review, which shall be dependent on whether or not the defendant testifies at trial.”

Mitchell, 28, of Crandall Avenue, is accused in the death of Mark Haskins, 57, of Norwood Avenue, who was shot Oct. 17, 2012, and died three days later.

Haskins was found with several gunshot wounds in front of a house at Bissell and Kensington avenues on the city’s North Side.

Mitchell’s trial is set to begin Nov. 18.

Judge Evans ruled on a defense motion to exclude Mitchell’s statement from evidence because the defense said Mitchell didn’t waive his rights during the interview.

In an evidentiary hearing, Detective Sgt. Darryl Martin said he read Mitchell his rights before the interview began and that Mitchell signed forms saying he had heard his rights and waived them.

During the interview, Mitchell denied killing Haskins, but admitted he knew him.

In May, Judge Evans ruled in favor of police when Mitchell’s lawyer, Thomas Zena, sought to exclude results of a photo lineup in which a witness identified Mitchell.

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