Judge Throws Out Confession In Jessica Lunsford Case - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/30/06-Inverness, FL

Judge Throws Out Confession In Jessica Lunsford Case

A Florida judge says authorities violated "one of the most bedrock principles of criminal law" in handling a man accused of raping and killing a nine-year-old girl.

The judge ruled prosecutors can't use John Couey's (KOO'-eez) confession. That's because he told detectives he wanted to talk with a lawyer, but they didn't give him the opportunity.

The judge ruled the discovery of her body can be used in court. Jessica Lunsford was found kneeling and clutching a stuffed animal. Her hands were tied with speaker wire and her fingers were poking through the garbage bags in which she was buried alive a year ago February.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Couey has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder, burglary, kidnapping and sexual battery.

Jury selection is scheduled July Tenth.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly