Tuesday, July 03, 2007

MIRANDA RIGHTS? NOT SO MUCH

Unexpected trouble in the case of the stabbed Northern Colorado punter. Apparently, Dick Cheney sent some hand-picked CIA agents in to handle the interrogation of the accused.


Rights? Who needs those?

Either that, or the accused has an active imagination. Which, this being Northern Colorado and Wyoming, it's not like he had anything better to do with his spare time.

GREELEY, Colo. -- A former Northern Colorado punter accused of stabbing the starter testified Tuesday that he felt bullied while being interrogated by detectives and that he implied he wanted a lawyer, only to be ignored.
Mitchell Cozad, who is charged with attempted first-degree murder, swiveled in his chair on the witness stand as he answered questions from his attorney, Joseph Gavaldon.
When asked why he spoke to investigators without an attorney, Cozad testified: "I had nothing to hide." ...
Cozad is accused of leaving a three- to five-inch-deep gash in Rafael Mendoza's kicking leg during a Sept. 11 ambush. Police have said they believe Cozad stabbed Mendoza in an attempt to get the starting job.
The case is set to go to trial July 30, but Gavaldon said lawyers were negotiating to resolve the case before trial. Chief deputy district attorney Michele Meyer declined to comment on any possible plea deal.

I have nothing to hide. Now may I please have a plea deal?

Last Sept. 12, Cozad was interviewed by Evans police detective George Roosevelt in the office of Nathan Cole, the university's coordinator for student rights and responsibilities. Cozad, who had been suspended from the school and kicked off the team, waited there for his mom to arrive from Wheatland, Wyo., because Cole had evicted him from his dorm room.
Prosecutors argued Cozad didn't ask for a lawyer while in the Cole's office with detectives, but Gavaldon contended it was implied. Cozad testified that he said, "My mom wanted me to wait [to talk] until we have a lawyer" as he waited for her. ...
Mitch Cozad said he was later given two options: Waive his rights and answer two questions from the detectives and go home, or ask for an attorney. But if the attorney didn't arrive in five minutes, he would go to jail.
Cozad said he reluctantly waived his rights. ...
After Cozad was handcuffed and taken to the police station, he inquired about dinner because he hadn't eaten since around 11:30 a.m. A pizza was ordered.
"He [Roosevelt] gives me the smallest slice. He licks his thumb, puts it into the pizza and says, 'If you're hungry, you'll eat that,'" Cozad said.

C&F is no legal expert, but if true, this might be a problem per any statements that Cozad made. But it also looks like there wasn't that much incriminating in what Cozad said -- at least from the article -- meaning the prosecution likely has other evidence. Like a ready-made motive. Like trying to be the starting punter.

All of this, of course, is for naught if he cops a plea anyway.

That said, there's no excuse for ruining a perfectly good pizza.

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