The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Carr request denied

  • A Harvey County District Court judge on Thursday denied the request of a man charged in the murder of a North Newton toddler to suppress statements he made to law enforcement.

    • email print
  • A Harvey County District Court judge on Thursday denied the request of a man charged in the murder of a North Newton toddler to suppress statements he made to law enforcement.
    An attorney for Chad Carr filed a motion in district court arguing Carr was questioned without being properly informed of his Miranda right.
    Attorney Charles O’Hara also argued Carr was coerced into making statements to police once he was advised of his Miranda rights.
    Carr is accused in the March death of the son of his former girlfriend, 19-month-old Vincent Hill of North Newton. Hill died of blunt force trauma and suffocation, according to earlier coroner testimony. Carr was home alone with Hill the day he died.
    O’Hara said during a hearing Thursday Carr was questioned by the two law enforcement officers who were the first responders to Carr’s residence when Carr called 911 to report 19-month-old Vincent Hill was not breathing.
    Harvey County Attorney David Yoder said the
    officers asked question pertinent to Hill’s medical history and treatment.
    Yoder also said Miranda did not apply because Carr was not in custody at the time. Carr drove himself to Newton Medical Center, where Hill had been taken for treatment.
    After Hill was pronounced dead, law enforcement officers asked family members and Carr to go to the Harvey County Sheriff’s Department to fill out voluntary witness statements about Hill’s death.
    At the sheriff’s department, Carr and others filled out the witness statements. Before sheriff’s investigator Robert Guest reviewed and discussed Carr’s statement, Guest reviewed and had Carr sign a waiver of his Miranda rights.
    After Guest’s interview of Carr, Carr was arrested on murder charges in the death Vincent Hill.
    Carr was interviewed two days later by special investigator Roger Butler of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
    Butler again reviewed Carr’s Miranda rights with him, and Carr indicated he understood those rights.
    O’Hara argued Carr was coerced into making the statements to law enforcement.
    Yoder argued Carr’s Miranda rights were not violated.
    “Quite simply and in a nutshell, it is the state’s possession that nothing improper was done by law enforcement in this case,” Yoder said.
    Once Carr was presented with his Miranda rights, Yoder said the DVD of the interviews, which the judge reviewed, showed Carr never indicated he did not understand his rights.
    District Judge Richard Walker ruled all Carr’s statements to police could be admitted into evidence.
    He said the officers who responded to Carr’s North Newton home were inquiring about information about a seriously injured child.
    “The police were trying to find out what happened to this child,” Walker said.
    Page 2 of 2 - At the hospital, Walker said law enforcement officers were still in the “information-gathering rather than the fingering-pointing mode.”
    He said the witness statement given to Carr at the sheriff’s department was clearly marked voluntary witness statement.
    Although Walker said investigators may have been vociferous during their interview, Carr was not coerced into making any statements to law enforcement officer.
    Carr’s case is scheduled for a settlement conference Jan. 14. A jury trial has been scheduled for the week of Jan. 24.
  • Comments are currently unavailable on this article

    Events Calendar