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Prosecutor can’t use some Dalton statements in Kalamazoo shootings

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Kalamazoo County prosecutors cannot use some statements made by a man who is charged with killing six people in between picking up riders for Uber.

Judge Alexander Lipsey said Thursday that Kalamazoo police were too aggressive when Jason Dalton indicated that he didn't want to talk about a series of shootings in the Kalamazoo area on Feb. 20, 2016.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting speaks during a press conference Thursday, April 20, 2017 in Kalamazoo

But the judge also said separate statements made to state police can be used as evidence at Dalton's trial, which is scheduled to begin in June.

Dalton's defense attorney Eusebio Solis argued that his client pleaded the fifth during interviews with detectives 15 times from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and Michigan State Police.

"I'm very happy with the decision," said Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting during a press conference. "I think Judge Lipsey spent considerable time and thought in making the decision."

Getting met with the media directly after the ruling. He said the prosecution does not plan to appeal the decision. Legally, Solis can if he sees fit. Should that happen, he said, it will not stop them from moving forward to trial.

"The victims families have been very supportive of us moving forward in this case," said Getting. "They’re understanding of the process that has to be engaged in litigation, as complex as this has been. They’re anxious to get this case to a trial as well."

Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder. Investigators have quoted him as saying a "devil figure" on Uber's app was controlling him on the night of the shootings.

"We’re prepared to go trial on June 13," said Getting. "We’re anxious to get that process started."

The Associated Press contributed to this report

 

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