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Judge mulls suppression of statements in murder case
Defense says statements a result of threats, abuse
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Superior Court Judge Jason Deal is still considering whether to suppress statements Reginald Coleman made during interrogation.

Coleman, the accused shooter in the 2010 Valentine's Day contract murder of 45-year-old Richard Schoeck, made the statements shortly after his arrest. Deal heard more evidence in the case Wednesday, but attorneys have until July 15 to file briefs. A decision won't come until after that date.

Coleman's defense argued Wednesday his statements to investigators should be suppressed because "if in fact they were even made, (they) were the result of threats and abuse by the arresting officers, and were made in the absence of counsel and without an intelligent or knowing waiver of counsel," according to court documents.

The documents also state Coleman's co-defendants in the case are "accomplice snitch(es)." Thus, the defense argues, any statements Coleman may have made to them should be suppressed because they were the result of a "concerted effort of the snitch and the prosecutors in this case."

Deal's court reviewed six hours of footage, including a May 2010 interview in which Coleman is seen offering his side of the story to investigators.

The video shows Coleman initially claiming he had never been in Hall County. But after several hours the video shows Coleman telling investigators he was near Belton Bridge Park in North Hall when Schoeck was shot to death but didn't pull the trigger himself.

In the video, Coleman said Stacy Schoeck, the victim's wife, was the mastermind of a murder-for-hire scheme. She reportedly offered to pay him to kill her husband, who she claimed was molesting her children.

The prosecution alleges that Coleman shot Richard Schoeck for $10,002. Stacy Schoeck, who was having an affair and stood to receive $560,000 from two life insurance policies taken out in 2009, allegedly arranged the murder through Lynitra Ross, a mutual friend of Schoeck and Coleman who allegedly acted as their go-between, according to the prosecution.

In the video, Coleman said he recruited two unknown men from a local pool hall to carry out the shooting for $3,000, a portion of the money he would receive from Schoeck.

After directing the men to the park, Coleman told investigators in the video that he heard four or five gunshots from a distance before leaving the scene to return to his apartment in Austell.

As Coleman spoke to investigators in the video, many of his statements seemed aimed at exonerating Ross.

Coleman said Ross was supposed to give him money from Schoeck but Ross knew nothing of the crime itself.

When investigators in the video informed Coleman that Richard Schoeck was heavily involved in Boy Scouts and had a good reputation within the community, Coleman indicated he had been deceived about Richard Schoeck molesting the children.

"She played me," Coleman said in the video.

 

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