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Judge rules statements admissible for trial

August 13, 2005|By Heather Keels

Statements that Boni Facio Aramburo made to police investigators after he signed a form waiving his Miranda rights will be admissible in his murder trial in the April 5 shooting death of Terrance "T.J." Johnson in a Noland Village courtyard, a Washington County Circuit Court judge decided Wednesday.

The order came after a hearing Monday in which Aramburo's lawyer, Stephen H. Sacks, alleged that the statement was coerced from his client by the interviewing officers. The 18-page transcript of the interview includes Aramburo's agreement that, "yes, that's what happened," to an officer's suggestion that Aramburo might have picked up a gun that had fallen out of someone's pocket and it might have fired accidentally.

Judge Kennedy Boone also denied the defendant's motion to try drug-related charges against Aramburo separately from charges related to the killing. Sacks argued Monday that the drug charges were from a separate incident and trying them together was an attempt to paint Aramburo as a "bad person" to the jury, while the state's attorney countered that the drugs were relevant to the murder case and the charges were inseparable.

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Boone granted another of the defendant's requests, to suppress the statements that Aramburo made to his arresting officers about the scratches and marks on his face and neck, on the grounds that Aramburo had not been advised of his rights.

Aramburo's trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 5.

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