Attorneys claim prosecutors illegally contacted suspect's mother - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Attorneys claim prosecutors illegally contacted suspect's mother

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Did prosecutors cross the line in the case of a missing Sullivan University student?  Gregory O'Bryan's attorneys claim prosecutors contacted his mother illegally.

The mother of an accused killer took the stand Wednesday. Even though Gregory O'Bryan's murder trial is not until April, his mother still had to testify during a special hearing.

Prosecutors say that Mrs. O'Bryan was contacted as investigators were interviewing witnesses. 

Gregory O'Bryan told police he put 18-year-old Andrew Compton's body in a dumpster near Our Lady of Peace. The Sullivan University student disappeared in October, and O'Bryan admitted Compton died while they were together.

"We are constantly searching for Andrew Compton's body," prosecutor Tom Van De Rostyne said Wednesday. "We're not going to give up until we find him. So we're going to pursue every possible lead to find him so we can return him to his family if at all possible."

In court Wednesday morning, the defense says the prosecution illegally contacted O'Bryan's mother, violating his 6th Amendment rights.

"What was your motivation then to speak to Greg?" asked the defense to Donna O'Bryan, "Because his mother asked," she responded shakily, speaking about the victim's mother.

Gregory O'Bryan's mother, Donna took the stand Wednesday morning, trying to remember a phone call she received this past June. Prosecutor Tom Van De Rostyne called her seeking information on the location of the victim's body. The defense grilled Donna about how Van De Rostyne handled the phone call. "Did he explain to you that he couldn't ask you to," asked the defense, "I don't remember," said Donna O'Bryan.

"What was your understanding of who this request was coming from? From Andrew's family," she cried. She got in touch with her son--who didn't have any new information on the location of Andrew Compton's body.

O'Bryan is charged with killing Compton, an 18-year-old Sullivan University student. Court records say Compton met O'Bryan, for sex, through an internet dating site. "I said, if there's any way you can help, if there's anything else you know, because I know this family is going through hell, they need some help."

Her son is charged with murder, sodomy, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Compton disappeared last October, and O'Bryan admitted Compton died during sex and he put his body in a dumpster. After weeks of searching an Indiana landfill, still no body. "We want to find Andrew. That's our primary concern at this point."

Van De Rostyne argues the hearing is a waste of time, and a moot point, as prosecutors will not be calling Donna O'Bryan as a witness during trial. They say the phone call was proper.

The judge will rule at a later time if the prosecution was wrong in contacting Donna O'Bryan.

The trial is scheduled for April.

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