Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2007

Detective describes interview as ‘calm’

Witness disputes claim that suspect’s confession was forced

Jason Rose stares at the prosecution during the second day of his trial.

Jason Rose stares at the prosecution during the second day of his trial.

May 3, 2007


6News video: Victims' testimony continues in Boardwalk Apt. Fire Trial

More victims relive their harrowing escape from a burning building as the trial continues for the man accused of setting the deadly Boardwalk Apartment Fire in 2005. Enlarge video

Jurors in the Jason Rose murder trial are expected today to watch the disputed confession of the 21-year-old arson suspect in the 2005 Boardwalk Apartments fire.

Rose's videotaped confession that he perhaps started the blaze by setting a piece of paper on fire is among the crucial elements of the trial.

Prosecutors contend that Rose's confession, which came during an Oct. 10, 2005, interview with two investigators, shows that Rose set the fire that resulted in the death of three people.

Ron Evans, Rose's attorney, said early in the trial that his client, who has limited mental capacities and suffered abuse as a child, was pressured into offering the confession after repeatedly denying that he had anything to do with setting the blaze.

The jury in Rose's retrial spent much of Wednesday afternoon watching the early stages of Rose's interrogation.

Rose submitted to an interview with Lawrence Detective Troy Squire and Christy Weidner, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, after investigators learned that Rose, who lived in the Boardwalk Apartments, had a history of setting fires.

Day three of the retrial ended with jurors watching Squire and Weidner pressure Rose about inconsistencies in his statements about where he saw the apartment fire start, as well as past events when he got in trouble for setting fires.

Squire, who took the witness stand Wednesday, said his interview with Rose had been a peaceful one.

"It was not an interview where there was a lot of yelling, screaming, fists pounding on the table, name-calling," Squire said. "It was a very calm interview."

In the interview, Rose admitted to setting a roommate's glove on fire while at a group home in Pittsburg after workers didn't let him watch a children's television show.

Earlier in the interview, Rose said he didn't remember anything about the event, which police knew about because of records obtained from the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

Squire told Rose in the interview that he believed Rose did recall the event but wasn't telling.

"I think you just don't want to talk about it because of what we're investigating," Squire said.

The videotape was shown to jurors after they listened to hours of testimony from witnesses recounting their escape from the burning apartment building early in the morning of Oct. 7, 2005.

Maritza Pastrana placed Rose at the scene of the apartment complex shortly before midnight after she got off work at a McDonald's.

She told the court that she saw Rose shouting profanities at someone from a second-floor walkway as she approached the complex.

Evans, Rose's attorney, challenged Pastrana's account of what she saw, getting her to acknowledge that she saw Rose for perhaps a second and might not have gotten a close look at him.

Pastrana told the court how she, her daughter, her husband and son-in-law had to escape the fire later that night through the window of their third-floor apartment.

Eli Greenbaum, a former resident of Boardwalk Apartments, gave a similar account of waking up Oct. 7, 2005, to smoke and a wall of flames approaching his apartment.

He and his girlfriend, Dawn Davis, suffered extensive injuries when they leapt from their apartment window.

"I told Dawn we had to jump or we were going to die," he said Wednesday.

Demarquis Maybell also testified about the injuries he suffered the night of the fire.

Testimony is scheduled to resume today in the trial for which Rose is charged with three counts of murder, aggravated arson and seven counts of aggravated battery.

The fire claimed the lives of three residents: Kansas University student Nicole Bingham, electrician Jose Gonzalez and social worker Yolanda Riddle.


TheGoldenBoy 11 years, 1 month ago

Has anybody else noticed Rose's fondness for red shirts! How coincidental!

Katie Van Blaricum 11 years, 1 month ago

do they keep using the same picture of him, or are they different?

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