June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Confession is valid, say Petric`s prosecutors

ELYRIA – Prosecutors say Daniel Petric was read his rights Oct. 20 after shooting his parents – which means everything he told investigators should be admissible at his trial, according to a motion filed Tuesday in Common Pleas Court.
But attorney James Kersey, representing Petric, said police interrogated Petric even after he told them he didn`t want to talk. He also said Petric was questioned without a parent or guardian present.
As a result, Kersey wants the 16-year-old`s confession that he killed his mother and shot his fa-ther in the head barred from use in his trial on adult charges of murder and attempted murder.
He has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. A judge will decide later whether his statements can be used against him.
Prosecutors said in the motion that Petric is smart enough and aware enough to know what was going on when sheriff`s deputies questioned him, the motion said. It also said Petric was read his Miranda rights twice, and he never specifically invoked his right to remain silent.
Petric was interviewed again the next day, and his rights were not read before that conversation either, Kersey said. But prosecutors said Petric knew he didn`t have to talk, and he told investi-gators he understood his rights.
Court documents said Daniel allegedly told his father, the Rev. Mark Petric, 45, and his mother, Sue Petric, 43, to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them. Then he shot them with a 9mm handgun stolen from a locked gun cabinet in his parents` house, prosecutors have said.
Daniel then tried to put the gun in his father`s hand, county Prosecutor Dennis Will has said.
Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.