JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After weeks of consideration, a judge has granted a motion considered a major victory for the Cristian Fernandez defense.
Tuesday morning, Judge Mallory Cooper denied Cristian Fernandez's attorney's request to suppress statements the child made before his arrest. The judge, however, did grant a motion to suppress three post-Miranda statements, including police interrogation videos and statements he made at a time when he was in the same room as his mother.
"It's going to injure their case and not permit them to convict him as easily as they might have with the confession," attorney Dale Carson said.
State attorney Mark Caliel wouldn't comment on the ruling announced at 9 a.m. Tuesday. An appeal on the ruling appears likely.
Attorneys had called numerous legal and child experts to help make their arguments for and against showing police interrogation videos at Cristian Fernandez's upcoming trials.
Hank Coxe, who represents the now 13-year-old boy, said police coerced Fernandez into talking and waived his Miranda Rights, which he never understood. "He never once in the entire time said he wanted to talk to her. She wanted to talk to him. And that reinforces that level of false trust that gets created," he told the court. But State Attorney Mark Caliel argued that Cristian is a straight-A student, who knew exactly what he was doing. "There was no apparent inability by this defendant to understand what was being discussed."
The Fernandez sexual abuse trial is expected to begin August 27 and his murder trial is set for September 10th. Those dates could change pending an appeal.