Transcripts Show Lane Was Aware of Rights When Talking About Shooting
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Geauga County Court of Common Pleas documents released Nov. 1 reveal accused Chardon High School shooter T. J. Lane did not know whether he had killed any of the five students he shot Feb. 27 in the high school cafeteria.
The documents — which contain several interviews Lane had with Geauga County sheriff’s deputies following his arrest — stem from Assistant County Prosecutor Nicholas A. Burling’s motion requesting Common Pleas Court Judge David Fuhry deny a defense motion to suppress statements Lane made to law enforcement officers.
Defense attorney Ian Friedman claims Lane was not fully informed of his Miranda rights prior to any questioning.
However, Burling contends Friedman’s accusation is false based on a transcription of interviews with Lane attached to the prosecution’s response to the defense’s motion to suppress statements.
The prosecution’s memorandum includes an interview Sheriff’s Deputy Jon Bilicic had with Lane in his cruiser after the 18-year-old was arrested on Woodin Road in Chardon Township at 8:36 a.m. Feb 27.
Bilicic advised Lane of his Miranda rights after placing him in the patrol car. Lane acknowledged he understood his rights, according to the transcription of the police cruiser video.
Lane then spoke with Bilicic and answered several questions before they arrived at the Geauga County Safety Center at 9 a.m. Their entire conversation was recorded on the cruiser’s video camera.
Bilicic: “There’s nobody else?”
Lane: “There’s no one else. It’s just me.”
Bilicic read Lane his rights and said, “If you decide to answer, you can stop answering at any time. Got that?”
Bilicic: “What happened?”
Lane: “I shot people.”
Lane: “I don’t know.”
Bilicic: “Are you having a problem or something?”
Shortly after arriving at the safety center, sheriff’s detectives Aaron Graley, Mitch Kelly and Juanita Vetter, and Chardon police officer Matt DeLisa also interviewed Lane. Portions of that interview are also attached to the prosecution’s response.
Vetter asked Lane if Bilicic had advised him of his rights.
Vetter: “You realize those Miranda rights still apply?”
Vetter: “Even though you’re out of his car and you’re in here now.”
During questioning, Vetter asked Lane if anyone knew he had brought a gun to school.
Lane: “No. No one would have had any idea.”
Vetter: “How many people do you think you hurt today?”
Lane: “I honestly have no idea.”
Vetter: “Do you think you killed anybody today?”
Lane: “I hope not. I . . . I just fired so fast and random. I have no idea if anyone even fell or said anything, at least like Ow or screamed.”
Three students were killed, Daniel Parmertor, 16, Demetrius Hewlin, 16, and Russell King Jr., 17, while Joy Rickers, 18, Nick Walczak, 17, and Nate Mueller, 17, were wounded.
Walczak remains paralyzed from the chest down.
Vetter: “I wish there was something I could say to make it better.”
Lane: “I wish there was something I could say to take it back, go back in time.”
Vetter: “You have changed that school forever.”
Lane: “I know.”
Lane later was asked if he knew any of the victims or if he was in class with any of them.
Lane: “Awhile ago, I think, I recall having class with one. I don’t know if he actually was at the table or if it was the table behind. I just remember seeing his face.”
Unidentified officer: “What was his name?”
Lane: “D . . . All I can remember is D something, I think. Demetrius, something like that. I don’t know.”
After telling Lane she had graduated from Chardon High School, Vetter asked him if he understood his statements were voluntarily given.
Lane: “Yeah. He (the officer) told me I don’t have to do it.”
Vetter: “Okay. You don’t have to talk to us if you don’t want to.”
Lane: “I want to, I do.”
Vetter: “I can’t help but feel bad, though.”
The conversation between Lane and Vetter continued and dealt with his emails and Facebook account.
Vetter later reminded Lane of his initial conversation with Bilicic and again asked Lane if Bilicic advised him of his Miranda rights.
Lane: “Yes, he did.”
Vetter: “Do you remember what he told you?”
Lane: “The Miranda rights?”
Lane: “That I?have the right to speak or not to speak, anything I say can or will be used against me. I don’t know the rest.”
Vetter then reread Lane his Miranda rights and said he could read them with her.
Vetter read Lane his Miranda rights.
Vetter: “Do you understand those rights?”
Vetter: “Okay. I?just need you to write whether or not you understand that, please. Do you wish to talk to us?”
Vetter: “Okay, sign there, please. Is there anything you don’t understand about this page or about these rights?”
Lane: “No. I get it all.”
In his motion, Burling said, “The defendant cooperated with the officers of his own accord and never once refused to answer questions.
“The totality of the circumstances shows that the defendant was fully aware of all his rights and chose to waive them, and speak to the police. The defendant is an intelligent individual who was ahead in school and was preparing for college. He had the intellectual capacity to fully understand his rights and the consequences of waiving them.
“Based on the absence of police coercion, coupled with the defendant’s awareness of his rights and the consequences of his waiver, the defendant’s statements during the interview were made voluntarily and knowingly.”
In other documents filed Nov.1, Fuhry ordered the Portage-Geauga Juvenile Detention Center, where Lane was initially held, to provide records from Lane’s incarceration in February to late May.
The detention center has only provided records since May 24.
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MgLCuCdZfyibg : 3/28/2013
That addresses sevrael of my concerns actually.
That addresses sevrael of my concerns actually.