- The Washington Times - Monday, March 30, 2009

BOSTON (AP) - Lawyers for the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller are asking a judge to suppress statements he made to investigators after he was arrested in Baltimore in the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter.

Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, claims he told investigators 14 minutes into a 4-hour interrogation that he didn’t want to talk. In a motion filed Monday in Suffolk Superior Court, Gerhartsreiter says the statements he made should be thrown out because he invoked his right to remain silent.

Gerhartsreiter, 48, is a German national who authorities say used multiple aliases after moving to the United States in the late 1970s.

He is charged with kidnapping his daughter during a supervised visit in Boston in July. They went missing for six days.

California authorities have labeled him “a person of interest” in the 1980s disappearance of a San Marino couple, Jonathan and Linda Sohus.

In the motion filed in court, Gerhartsreiter’s lawyers ask that most of what he said to a Boston police detective and an FBI agent on Aug. 2, 2008, be suppressed. The interrogation took place the same day Gerhartsreiter and his daughter were found in Baltimore.

Gerhartsreiter’s lawyers say he told investigators at the beginning of the interrogation that he was willing to speak to them “within a limited extent.” He said he was distraught over his daughter and how he had lost custody of the girl to his ex-wife seven months earlier.

“I just want to be a father _ I’ve been a father _ sole caretaker for six-and-a-half years and she was taken from me … she was taken from me four days before Christmas which was evil,” Gerhartsreiter said, according to excerpts included in the motion.

Gerhartsreiter’s lawyers say he told investigators he did not want to talk anymore after the FBI agent told him it was a crime to lie to a federal law enforcement agent.

“Uh in that case I better not say anything because I don’t want to be accused of lying later, so…” Gerhartsreiter said.

Gerhartsreiter’s lawyers said he repeated his desire not to talk, but investigators resumed questioning him a short time later.

Tim Bradl, one of his lawyers, said law enforcement authorities are required to “scrupulously honor” a defendant’s right to remain silent once he has invoked it after being given a Miranda warning.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley, said prosecutors had not been given a copy of the motion and had no immediate comment.

“We will respond in court once we’ve had a chance to review the motion,” Wark said.

Gerhartsreiter’s lawyers, who have said they plan to use an insanity defense, are also asking for the suppression of statements he made to media outlets after his arrest. They said his “disordered thought” may have played a part in his “bizarre post-arrest actions in speaking with media outlets without any understanding or apparent awareness of the consequences and impact on his pending criminal case.”

A judge is expected to hear arguments on the motion next month.

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