- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Police turned away a defense attorney and referenced television show violence during their midnight interrogation of a 14-year-old boy authorities say confessed to killing his father and brother, court documents state.

The documents were obtained by the Coeur d’Alene Press (https://bit.ly/1Cq469O) after 1st District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson refused a defense motion to suppress statements made by defendant Eldon Gale Samuel III, now 15.

Kootenai County Public Defender John Adams sought to suppress the statements based on his believe the teen might not have fully understood his rights when he spoke to police in March.

“I didn’t believe there would be anybody at the police department who would be looking out for his best interests,” Adams told the newspaper in a story on Saturday. “They were all there as an arm of the government, building evidence against him, not to help him.”

Records say Samuel called police about 9 p.m. on March 24 to report having killed his father and brother. Samuel is charged as an adult with shooting 46-year-old Eldon Samuel Jr. and shooting and stabbing 13-year-old Jonathan Samuel.

Samuel that evening was taken to a police station where, court documents say, a police detective explained Miranda rights to the boy by referencing police television shows, the documents show.

“This is a Miranda warning,” Coeur d’Alene Police Detective Jay Wilhelm told Samuel, according to a transcript. “You know how you see on TV, you see like these cop shows? … They’re slamming them up against the car and they read these rights to them. And it’s kind of at the same time, sometimes they slam up against the car, put them in jail, then they read his rights. And so that’s not anything like this. Alright.”

The transcript notes that Samuel nods his head to indicate a yes answer.

Wilhelm said “these are just some rights that everyone is entitled to.” He then read the Miranda rights.

Samuel is twice asked if he understands, and both times replies “um-hum.” Court documents say that Samuel then signs two documents agreeing to waive his Miranda rights.

Coeur d’Alene Police Lt. Rob Turner said the interview was recorded with video and audio.

“There was no point we were trying to intimidate him,” Turner said Monday. He said the intent of the officer mentioning the police shows was to let Samuel know that was on TV and wouldn’t occur at the police station.

Adams told the newspaper he went to the police station after hearing about the killings and that police had someone in custody. Turner met Adams, according to court documents.

“John, I’m under an investigation, and you’re impeding that right now,” the documents say Turner told Adams.

Adams told the newspaper he interpreted the “impeding my investigation” to be a direct threat of arrest. Adams left without speaking to Samuel.

Turner said Monday he never had any intention of arresting Adams. But he said the attorney acted inappropriately.

“He takes it upon himself to respond to the police department and supersede our investigation,” Turner said, “which is contrary to anything I’ve run into in my 23 years in law enforcement.”

Judge Simpson last week denied Adams’ motion to suppress statements Samuel made to police. Simpson ruled that Samuel’s confession and Miranda rights waiver were “knowing, intelligent and voluntary.”

Authorities say Samuel told investigators he feared his father would kill him after the man fired a single shot from a .45 caliber handgun outside the house, talked about zombies, and acted crazy from painkillers.

Samuel told investigators he used the gun to shoot his father in the stomach. Autopsy results found the father also was shot in the face and head after he was dead.

Jonathan Samuel, who was hiding under a bed, died of multiple gunshots and was stabbed with a knife and hacked with a machete, the autopsy said.

Samuel told investigators the stress of his brother’s autism caused his father to become addicted to painkillers and his mother to leave the family.

Samuel’s trial is scheduled to start July 13.


Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, https://www.cdapress.com

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