LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An attorney for a teen charged with murdering a man walking with his wife near Cherokee Triangle has asked a judge to throw out his alleged confession, arguing there is no proof he said it.
Attorney Karen Faulkner, who represents Travon Curry, told Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens that the statements Curry allegedly made to Officer Sean Verdi were not on his body camera, as the officer had testified.
At the time of the alleged confession, Curry, now 17, was in the hospital after being shot by the man he allegedly robbed and killed, Jason Spencer, as Spencer and his wife were walking on Everett Avenue near Cherokee Triangle on Nov. 3, 2017. Spencer was killed only 10 days after getting married.
Verdi testified in June that Curry said, “I’m glad I killed that motherf*****" and "if I get out of here, I’m going to kill some other white motherf*****s." Curry is black.
After receiving and reviewing Verdi's body cam footage, Faulkner told Stevens there are no comments like that from Curry, even though it appears Verdi turned on his cam as soon as he walked up to the hospital bed.
"Officer Verdi, as well as the commonwealth argued vehemently to the court that the reason he knew this statement existed was because he knew it was caught on body cam video," she told Stevens.
But prosecutors told the judge that Verdi did not testify that the confession was captured on his body cam. Instead, the statements were made before the equipment was turned on.
While the prosecution asked that Verdi be allowed to testify again on Tuesday to clarify his remarks, Judge Stevens said he instead would watch Verdi's previous testimony and review the body cam footage before deciding whether to throw out the statement.
The next hearing date was set for October.
Curry's co-defendant, Thaddius Thomas Jr., has also asked a judge to throw out their statements to investigators, arguing, in part, that Louisville Metro Police detectives did not properly follow the law when interrogating the juveniles.
Both Curry and Thomas admitted to the crime, according to investigators. It had been unclear what the teens told police in their statements, as last year Louisville prosecutors ended a long-standing practice of filing evidence in criminal cases.
Faulkner has also argued that Curry was on fentanyl, a very powerful opioid, as well as other drugs at the time police spoke with him, claiming he was in no mental or physical condition to voluntarily waive his constitutional right to remain silent.
And defense attorneys argue proper procedures weren’t followed when the juveniles were interrogated, such as getting permission from their parents.
A parade of officers testified in June that the teens themselves both gave permission to be interviewed and were of sound mind.
Police arrested four teenagers in the murder and robbery of Spencer.
One of the juveniles, Demond Malone, has already pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against his co-defendants.
Malone agreed to an 18-year prison sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to criminal facilitation to murder, criminal facilitation to first-degree robbery, first-degree wanton endangerment, possession of a firearm by a minor and receipt of stolen property over $500.
Malone, 16, will remain in custody at the Department of Juvenile Justice until he turns 18 -- at which point he will be re-sentenced.
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