Woman wants murder confession thrown out
By Beth Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org January 25, 2013 8:08PM
Yolanda L. Jones
Updated: February 27, 2013 6:05AM
A court hearing started Friday to determine whether or not a Waukegan woman charged with murdering a 5-year-old boy voluntarily waived her rights before confessing to police.
Police started questioning Yolanda Jones, 37, when she was in the hospital and about to give birth to her sixth child. The questioning continued after the baby was delivered, and Zion police ignored Jones’ request for medication, interviewing her over a two-day period, according to defense attorneys Jeffery Facklam and LaTonya Burton.
At issue is “whether Jones lacked the capacity to understand Miranda rights,” Facklam said.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorneys Ken LaRue and Lauren Callinan want to introduce a 13-hour recorded interview as evidence. However, they requested that Circuit Judge George Bridges view the recording before any police officers and experts testify. Bridges agreed to view the recording outside the courtroom.
Attorneys will meet Jan. 30 with the judge to set a date to continue the hearing.
Jones is accused of the 2010 Labor Day murder of Tommy Davis III. Police said the 5-year-old boy was among six children that Jones was caring for while staying at the Sheridan Motel in Zion. Jones confessed to police that she snapped and beat the boy for two days, authorities said.
Jones made both a written and verbal confession after her arrest. Two detectives started to speak with Jones while she was a patient at the hospital.
Jones was in labor and not advised of her Miranda rights when she told police what happened, Facklam and Burton maintain in their motion.
Detectives left Jones side when she said she needed to deliver the baby and returned after the baby was born, according to Burton and Facklam. Four days after the baby was born, detectives went to Jones’ residence to bring her to the Zion Police Department to continue the interrogation.
Jones has a full scale IQ score of 66, which is in the mildly mentally defective range of functioning, according to an expert Jones’ attorneys cite in their motion.
Jones is in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $3 million bond.