A man accused of starting a deadly apartment fire will stand trial next week - and the jury will hear his confession.
Attorneys for Jason A. Rose, 21, had asked Douglas County District Judge Jack Murphy to rule that Rose's confession to police wasn't voluntary because of the arson and murder suspect's history of abuse and mental illness.
Murphy wrote a memorandum allowing the confession last week, but didn't make the decision public until a motions hearing Thursday.
Rose faces charges including three counts of felony murder and one count of aggravated arson in connection with an October 2005 fire at Boardwalk Apartments.
At Thursday's hearing, Murphy indicated that he'd allow the confession - as well as a defense expert witness who is expected to question the validity of the confession.
The witness, Kansas University professor Yolanda Jackson, will use her interviews with Rose and expertise in child psychology to show "how what he said might not have been reliable," said Rose's attorney, Ron Evans.
Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan tried to block Jackson from testifying, but Murphy said Jackson could address Rose's mental state, not whether the confession was true.
Rose's defense attorney argued that there wasn't enough evidence to try Rose for murder.
"The intent has to be for the arson, and that was clearly shown," Murphy said.
During a September hearing, Lawrence police Detective Troy Squire testified about his interview with Rose after the fire.
Squire testified he interviewed Rose after learning he was a resident of the complex, in the 500 block of Fireside Drive, who had called 911 to report the fire.
Eventually, Rose admitted setting a piece of paper on fire outside the building, according to testimony at an earlier hearing. When police told him something that small couldn't have started the fire, Rose said he set a box of paperwork on fire.
The fire killed KU student Nicole Bingham, electrician Jose Gonzalez and social worker Yolanda Riddle. All three lived in the apartment complex at the time of the blaze.
Jury selection for the trial begins Tuesday, with presentation of evidence scheduled to begin Wednesday.
Boardwalk Apartments Fire
More on the Boardwalk Apartments Fire
- 6News video: 'Boardwalk Fire Trial' set to begin (02-01-07)
- 6News video: Confession in Boardwalk fire case under question (09-19-06)
- 6News video: Fire victims struggling with medical bills (08-09-06)
- 6News video: Fire victim shares story of survival (11-27-05)
- Judge allows confession in murder, arson case (02-02-07)
- Arson suspect wants statement off record (09-20-06)
- Boardwalk fire victims see some money from state (08-10-06)
- Time barely starting to heal wounds (02-27-06)
- Agent: Design helped fire's spread (02-24-06)
- Deputies honored for bravery (01-25-06)
- Photo Gallery: Jason Allen Rose
- Photo Gallery: After the fire at Boardwalk Apartments
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