In a Harvey County courtroom Thursday, law enforcement officers were found to have questioned, interviewed, and read Chad Carr his Miranda rights in a proper manner according to District Court Judge Richard Walker.
Carr is accused of first-degree murder in the death of 19-month old Vincent Hill March 27. Carr was the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother, Katheryn Nycole Dale, and he was alone with Vincent the day the boy died of suffocation and blunt force trauma.
Carr’s attorney, Charles O’Hara, had filed a motion to suppress statements Carr gave to police officers who responded to a 911 call about the child and subsequent information taken from interviews with Harvey County sheriff’s investigator Robert Guest and Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent Roger Butler.
O’Hara also claimed Carr was not properly read his Miranda rights and did not understand them once he was informed.
The hearing to suppress began Jan. 4 and Judge Walker recessed the hearing until Jan. 6 so he could examine lengthy videos of the interviews by Guest and Butler and review the voluntary witness statement written by Carr. The police officers who responded to the scene testified in person on Jan. 4.
Walker said Thursday the testimony and videos indicated to him that law enforcement officers had conducted the questioning and interviews properly.
“I actually felt Mr. Carr was relaxed and his story never wavered,” Walker said. “He was clearly read his rights, but he was consistent throughout. He claimed he was not responsible and he did not change his story.
“Mr. Guest may have gotten a bit ‘vociferous’ and might have used different tactics, some of them loud, but nothing improper occurred and Mr. Carr was not bullied into incriminating himself.”
He also noted that the interview by agent Butler ended when Carr announced that he was not going to say anything else. “I have been here for two days and I haven’t talked to a lawyer,” he said. “I think I want one now.”
On Monday, Harvey County District Attorney David Yoder announced the trial, which was scheduled to begin Jan. 24 was continued until the week of March 28. A settlement conference has been moved to 1 p.m. on Feb. 18.
Carr’s pretrial hearing on charges of child pornography unrelated to the Hill case also has been continued until Feb. 18. It will begin at 3 p.m. or as soon as the settlement conference is over.