Hearing Set on Hyrum Murder Suspect's Interview

Hearing Set on Hyrum Murder Suspect's Interview

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- An evidentiary hearing has been set for June 20 to determine whether videotaped interviews between Cody Lynn Nielsen and the Cache County Sheriff's investigators are admissible in his capital murder trial.

Nielsen, 30, pleaded guilty Jan. 16 to killing 15-year-old Trisha Autry of Hyrum. Authorities say Nielsen beat and dismembered Autry in June 2000. He later withdrew his guilty plea.

The interview tapes were not allowed to be used as evidence in the sentencing phase after Nielsen pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors filed a memorandum last month in 1st District Court arguing that the interviews should be admissible.

Defense attorneys Shannon Demler and David Perry argue that because Judge Clint S. Judkins suppressed the interviews in February, they should remain suppressed.

On Monday, Judkins pointed out that the county attorney's office has never properly sought to admit the interviews as evidence.

He said prosecutors only filed a memorandum, not a motion, meaning that a request to admit the tapes was never made. The county attorney's memorandum stated its reasoning for wanting the tapes admitted, but never specifically made a motion asking for their admittance.

However, Demler argued that because Judkins had already made a ruling on the tapes, the decision should not be revisited. The videotaped conversations occurred Jan. 20 and Jan. 22, the week after Nielsen pleaded guilty.

County Attorney George Daines contends the suppression should be overturned because Nielsen initiated the discussion with investigators, and he was read his Miranda rights.

Demler argues that Nielsen invoked his rights to counsel in 2001, and that the interviews with authorities should never have occurred without counsel being present.

"Furthermore, the defendant in this case has an IQ of 79 and has been incarcerated over 18 months, and to allow the state to take advantage of him without his attorneys would be improper," the attorney said.

A motion for review of Judkins' suppression order already has been filed with the Utah Supreme Court by prosecutors. The high court has not yet reviewed the appeals motion.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast