Judge confirms police interrogation of Ogden murder suspect Caleb Skipps | dishes
OGDEN – A Pleasant View man accused of shooting two men in a drug deal has freely given incriminating testimony to police and a judge ruled to deny a motion to suppress evidence.
Caleb Skipps’ attorney, Emily Swenson, had argued that the 20-year-old’s rights were violated when Ogden officers killed him on January 9, 2020, the death of Isaac Gonzalez, 21, of North Ogden, and the shooting of a . interrogated second man who survived.
But in a ruling on Monday, District 2 judge Camille Neider said Skipps spoke to detectives again after invoking his Miranda rights without a lawyer stopping to provide explanations.
After Skipps was taken into custody in the early hours of January 10th, Skipps spoke to detectives in two sessions totaling about 45 minutes. Detectives questioned Skipps’ denial of being at the scene of the shooting in a church parking lot, and he replied, “He tried to rob me. I got in his car to buy something from him and he tried to rob me and pull me out of his car and I got scared. I did not know, what I should do. And now I would like a lawyer.
After a pause, the detectives told Skipps that they would be given an arrest warrant for his clothing, a DNA sample, and a blood draw. Skipps asked, “What is this all for?” and detectives told him they couldn’t answer his questions unless he renounced his Miranda rights.
Skipps soon said he wanted to speak to the officers and at one point asked: “Am I going to jail?” According to court records, they then discussed his right to self-defense, his disposal of the weapon, drug trafficking and the shooting. Swenson had argued that there was no second waiver of his Miranda rights, so the evidence should be discarded.
But Neider disagreed, saying the detectives “did not use psychological techniques to deceive him or give false information to him.”
Skipps, the judge said, “was aware and aware enough to try to mislead investigators with various stories about his actions. By all objective standards, (Skipps) made a voluntary decision to include the detectives in further discussions after pleading and was reminded several times of his right to a lawyer and then agreed to waive that right onward with the detectives to speak.”
She said Skipps “opened the conversation that eventually led to incriminating statements. … The officers allowed the accused to continue speaking and used his willingness to talk, but they did not override his free will or put pressure on him and they let the situation develop. “
Neider has scheduled a preliminary hearing for August 23rd.
Skipps is charged with first degree murder and attempted murder, also a first degree crime. Weber County prosecutors announced in July 2020 that the prosecution would not apply for the death penalty in the case.