Murder Suspect wants judge to throw out statements to police | News
BELFAST, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --During a hearing Tuesday morning in Waldo County Superior Court, a Defense Attorney for accused murderer Daniel Porter asked a judge to exclude statements his client allegedly made to police.
Attorney Jeff Silverstein argues the information investigators obtained on February 23, 2012 in Connecticut should be thrown out because his client was not read his Miranda rights and it is therefore a violation of the fifth amendment.
The conversation with police occurred in Connecticut where Porter and his girlfriend were visiting his mother. The state provided witnesses from the Milford, Connecticut Police department; Orange, Connecticut Police Department; and Bangor Police Department.
The state argues at the time of the conversation It was a missing person case and they had no intention of arresting Porter, therefore they did not read him his Miranda rights and he was free to leave at any time. The defense questions the nature, length of time, and number of officers present during the discussion.
Porter's attorney Jeff Silverstein said, "Just because you tell someone that they are free doesn't mean that they are not in custody. Custody is a legal determination that's made by the court to assess whether someone's freedom of movement is restricted in a way that is typically associated with arrest. You can tell the guy all day long he's free to leave, but if you stand by his side, accompany him to the bathroom, don't leave his home I don't know how free to leave you are or how free you really are."
The discussion with police began February 23 and led into February 24th. On February 28th, authorities searched Porter's family home and found remains they later proved to be Jerry Perdomo. Porter was arrested, taken into custody, and read his Miranda rights at that point. Silverstein also questions another action by police.
On both occasions, Porter was told he was not in custody and therefore free to do what he wished this included consuming alcohol. Witnesses admitted Porter drank two beers on their first meeting in Connecticut and was drinking heavily on the evening of his arrest.
Detective Brian Strout with Bangor Police Department testified that Porter drank heavily on the evening of his arrest, and became ill at one point in Strout's company.
Silverstein said, "In their quest to make it appear as if he was unrestrained basically, passively allowed him to drink prior to their interview...the court in other analysis cases has expressed concern over officers interview subjects to have access to alcohol and other intoxicants on the issue of voluntariness."
According to Detective Strout, the defendant had passed out before an officer arrived with the arrest warrant. Porter did sober up by the time he was arrested and taken to the police station for questioning.
Both sides will be back in court tomorrow where the defense will present their evidence.
An official ruling is not expected until next month.