Judge: Teen's confession valid in killing of father, brother

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A 15-year-old boy charged in the killing of his father and brother in Coeur d'Alene knew what he was doing when he confessed to police, a judge ruled.

In an order Wednesday, 1st District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson denied a defense motion to suppress statements made by defendant Eldon Gale Samuel III to police, The Spokesman-Review reported (http://bit.ly/1Ke6mjD).

Kootenai County Public Defender John Adams had asked that evidence gathered against his client after he was placed in custody be suppressed because the interrogation was unlawful and produced involuntary statements.

But Simpson said Samuel's confession and Miranda rights waiver were "knowing, intelligent and voluntary."

Samuel is charged as an adult with shooting 46-year-old Eldon Samuel Jr. and shooting and stabbing 13-year-old Jonathan Samuel in March. He faces a second-degree murder charge in his father's death and first-degree murder in his brother's death.

The killings took place at St. Vincent de Paul emergency housing, where the family was living.

Court records say that after the killings, Eldon Samuel called 911 and told a police dispatcher he had shot and killed his father and brother.

Samuel waived his right to talk to an attorney before confessing at a June hearing, according to court testimony.

Authorities say he 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.

Eldon 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.

The newspaper said Judge Simpson suggested that prosecutors and defense attorneys consider a plea agreement in the case.

"Sometimes in hard cases it's a good way to go," the judge said.

Samuel's trial is scheduled to start July 13.


Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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