This is the second confession about this case that was thrown out because he was questioned without an attorney present.
Jurors deciding the fate of the man accused of kidnapping, raping and killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford will not hear statements he allegedly made to detectives questioning him about an unrelated case, a judge ruled Monday.
Circuit Judge Ric Howard said Orlando police detectives should not have been allowed to question John Evander Couey about a 1985 murder case because he had already told Citrus County authorities he wanted a lawyer — the same reason a taped confession to Jessica’s slaying was thrown out in June.
The statements Howard ruled on Monday involve unrecorded comments Couey allegedly gave to Orlando police after he was arrested in March 2005. They asked Couey about the unsolved 1985 murder of 15-year-old Regina Armstrong because he had grown up near Orlando.
Orlando police Detective Joel Wright testified Friday that Couey told him: “I wish I could help you, but I can’t … If I did it I would tell you, they can only kill me once.”
Even though he’s confessed to Jessica’s murder twice, he has pleaded not guilty anyway – probably by reason of insanity.
Couey has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery on a child, kidnapping and burglary in the girl’s death. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 12 with jury selection in Miami. The trial was moved to South Florida in the hopes of finding an unbiased jury.
Prosecutors have said they were confident physical evidence would be enough to convict Couey and secure a death sentence.
Let’s hope so. As much as I’m sickened by the fact that the confessions have been thrown out, I’m even more sickened by the fact that the cops screwed it up. But come on. If he is acquitted because these two confessions were thrown out (which I doubt), the verdict will be a complete laughing stock because everyone one knows by his own admission that he did it.