Rachel Pittman, 17 (Courtesy: Bowie County Sheriff's Office)
Family photos of Guinevere Doss, Texas Johnson and Amanda Doss
NEW BOSTON, TX (KSLA) -
Confessions made by a Redwater, TX teen accused of killing a mother and her two children will be allowed in court, after the judge in the case denied a defense motion to suppress her statements Wednesday.
17-year-old Rachel Pittman is charged as an adult with capital murder in the May 2011 deaths of 34-year-old Amanda Doss and 11-year-old Guinevere Doss and is facing a separate murder charge for 8-year-old Texas Johnson. Investigators say the three were murdered in their home before a fire was set to cover up the crime.
There were no arrests in the case until Pittman's mother contacted Bowie County Sheriff James Prince on August 12, 2011 and arranged a meeting. At that meeting, Sheriff Prince has testified that Rachel Pittman told him, "I killed Amanda." From there, he says they went to the Bi-State Justice Center, where she was processed and gave an official statement.
Pittman's attorney had argued that statements the teen made that night should be thrown out because she should have been taken to a juvenile facility instead of being processed at the Bi-State Justice Center.
They also argued that Pittman should not have been left alone without her parents or an attorney present when she made her statement to authorities.
In testimony given at a November 7 hearing on the motion, Sheriff Prince said Pittman made it clear that she wanted to talk, and that she did not want anyone with her when she made the statements to investigators. According to the judge that processed her that night, Pittman was asked twice if she wanted an attorney, and she allegedly said no.
In his ruling Wednesday, Bowie County Judge Leon Pesek found that Pittman "knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived her rights when she gave her written statement to law enforcement." Pittman is set to go to trial on January 14 in Rusk County. Because she was 16 at the time of the crime, Pittman will not be eligible for the death penalty if convicted. She could face life in prison.
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