Defendant in New Haven Homicide Case Says Police Pressured Him to Give a False Statement

Article excerpt

NEW HAVEN » Tyrick Warren, who is facing a felony murder charge, testified Tuesday in a pre-trial hearing that he gave detectives the false information they were seeking because he wanted to be released and go home.

Warren's testimony was an attempt by defense attorneys Walter Bansley III and Walter Bansley IV to bolster their motion for the charges to be dismissed. Warren also is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and attempted first-degree robbery.

Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O'Keefe Jr. heard the testimony and legal arguments in the case, which is scheduled to begin evidence Wednesday. A jury has been selected.

O'Keefe said he will rule on the motion Wednesday morning. The defense is also seeking to suppress Warren's statement being used as evidence in a trial.

The defense team elicited testimony Tuesday from a psychologist who said Warren has an IQ of 69, which the doctor called on the borderline of being mildly mentally retarded. And Warren testified he did not understand what he was reading when he signed a waiver form of his Miranda rights.

But Senior Assistant State's Attorney Brian Sibley Sr. called to the witness stand two of the detectives who interviewed Warren and took his taped statement in which he said he witnessed the shooting death of John Henry Cates in Newhallville three years ago.

In that statement, Warren said the shooter was his friend, Rajoun Julious. Warren said he walked away from Julious rather than participate but saw Julious try to rob and then shoot Cates.

Julious was put on trial last October for felony murder and other charges but Superior Court Judge Brian T. Fischer dismissed the counts and sent the jury home, ruling the state had not proved its case.

Julious had told police that it was Warren who shot Cates.

New Haven police Detective Michael Wuchek, the first witness called Tuesday by Sibley, said he assisted Detective Elisa Tuozzoli on Feb. 21, 2011, when Warren was questioned at the New Haven police station.

Wuchek said Warren seeemed to understand the questions on the Miranda form. Wuchek described Warren's demeanor as "pleasant, not confrontational."

Under cross-examination by Bansley III, who noted Warren was 17 when he gave his statement, Wuchek said he was not aware Warren required special education classes and that his mother had requested an attorney three days earlier.

Wuchek said he was also not aware that Warren had what Bansley called "significant cognitive deficiencies."Wuchek denied telling Warren he couldn't go home until he gave police a statement about the shooting. …