Archive for Saturday, January 18, 1992

POLICE ASSERT SUSPECT WAIVED MIRANDA RIGHTS

January 18, 1992

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A 29-year-old transient charged with murder is expected to take the stand Tuesday in Douglas County District Court, following testimony Friday afternoon by a Lawrence police officer who said the man was not coerced into confessing to the murder during a police interview.

Kenneth Lee Morris, who is charged in connection with the beating death of Danny Davis, 40, Lawrence, likely will take the stand when the hearing resumes Tuesday, said his attorney, James Rumsey.

The hearing is to determine whether a confession obtained during a police interview should be allowed in Morris' February jury trial. The hearing will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

On Friday afternoon, Lawrence Police Detective Craig Shanks said Morris understood his Miranda rights when police read them during an interview with Morris in Phoenix, Ariz. on Aug. 17. Morris had been arrested in Phoenix on unrelated burglary charges.

Shanks said Morris agreed to answer questions about the death of Danny Davis, who was found beaten in his Lawrence home on Aug. 8. Davis died five days later.

"When we asked him if he wanted to waive his rights he said, `I guess so,'" Shanks said.

Shanks said he and Lawrence Police Sgt. Carrol Crossfield conducted the Phoenix interview without threatening or coercing Morris in any way.

He also said Morris never asked to see an attorney, nor indicated that he wanted to end the interview.

On Friday morning, Crossfield gave similar testimony, saying police did not threaten or force Morris to confess during the Phoenix interview.

Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone will decide wether to grant Rumsey's motion to withhold testimony about the interview as evidence in the murder trial.

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