Attorney in Youngstown murder case files motion to suppress interview

Local News
Carlos Flores, 18, is charged with murder in the death of Reshaud Biggs, Jr.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The attorney for a man accused of killing a south side teen this summer has asked a judge to throw out his client’s initial interview with police.

Dave Betras Tuesday filed the motion in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on behalf of Carlos Flores Jr., 18, who is charged with murder for the July 18 shooting death of Reshaud Biggs Jr., 17.

Biggs was found shot to death about 10 p.m. at a gas station at the corner of South and East Avondale avenues. Police have not released a motive or much information about the case, except to say the bullet that killed Biggs was fired from a distance.

Flores turned himself in to police about a week after Biggs was killed when a warrant was issued for his arrest. Flores was free on bond in an unrelated case when he was accused of killing Biggs. The bond in that case was revoked shortly after he was arrested on the murder charge. He has a $1 million bond.

Judge John Durkin is hearing the case.

The motion asks for the initial interview with the lead investigator on the case, Detective Sgt. Rick Spotleson, to be suppressed because Betras contends Flores asked for counsel and was ignored, Betras also wrote that his client told his parents he shot at Biggs in self defense.

The motion says that when Flores was taken into custody and interviewed at the city police department, he placed Betras’ card on a table and Spotleson continued to read Flores his Miranda rights and started questioning him.

After over eight minutes, Flores asks to speak to his attorney and Spotleson said he could but the questioning continued, according to the motion.

The motion says Spotleson continued to ask questions such as “they continued shooting at you” and “your dad told me you got shot” and Flores nods his head but doesn’t answer any questions.

At the 15:50 mark of the questioning, Flores asks to speak to his attorney and Spotleson says yes, the motion said, leaves the room, talks to Flores’ father and comes back in. About five minutes later, Spotleson then said “if you want to talk to your attorney, you don’t have to answer any more questions,” the motion says.

Betras said the state can not show his client voluntarily waived his right to counsel. Flores is only 18 and as a young adult would have felt obligated to answer questions from a detective, the motion said.

The state should not get to use any statements Flores made because he was “robbed” of his right to have an attorney present during questioning, Betras wrote.

Prosecutors are expected to file a response shortly.

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