Archive for Saturday, July 1, 2006

Confession thrown out in death of 9-year-old

July 1, 2006

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— A judge Friday morning threw out the confession of convicted sex offender John Evander Couey, who asked numerous times for a lawyer while under questioning by detectives last year about 9-year-old Jessica Marie Lunsford. Her body was later found buried behind Couey's sister's house.

Citrus Circuit Judge Richard A. Howard read his decision that the confession will be inadmissible in Couey's trial. Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to begin July 10 in Lake County. Those chosen for the panel will hear the case in Citrus County.

Couey, 47, faces charges of first-degree murder, sexual battery, kidnapping and burglary. In addition to confessing, he flunked a lie-detector test, authorities said.

Couey had been interrogated March 17, 2005, in Georgia, where he was detained as "a person of interest" in Jessica's disappearance. The girl had been reported missing Feb. 24, 2005.

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