- The Washington Times - Monday, May 2, 2005

BALTIMORE — Attorneys questioned police officers for a third day at a hearing yesterday over whether to keep statements by two Mexican immigrants charged with killing three young relatives from being used at their trial.

As they did Friday, defense attorneys repeatedly asked the officers about details of the questioning at police headquarters, prompting numerous objections by the prosecution.

Before the testimony began, Baltimore Circuit Judge David Mitchell reminded attorneys that interpreters for the defendants would not be available for up to two weeks if the issue were not settled yesterday, and urged them to resolve the matter.

Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 22, and his cousin, Adan Espinoza Canela, 17, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges. They face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted

The defense has tried to portray the pair as being treated differently from other family members during questioning, repeatedly asking whether the two were free to leave if they wanted, or whether they were intimidated.

Police officers have testified that the two were first questioned as witnesses and spoke voluntarily.

The statements the defense is seeking to suppress conflict as to the whereabouts of the pair at the time of the killings.

The two are accused in the deaths of Ricardo Solis Quezada Jr. and his sister, Lucero Solis Quezada, both 9, and their 10-year-old cousin, Alexis Espejo Quezada.

The three children were found dead May 27 in their apartment after returning from school. One child was beheaded and the others were nearly decapitated.

The mother of Ricardo and Lucero has said she does not think the defendants killed the children.

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