Defense moves to suppress alleged Waukegan murder confession
BY JIM NEWTON firstname.lastname@example.org September 19, 2013 11:40AM
Darryel J. Garner
Updated: November 19, 2013 3:35AM
Defense attorneys for a Waukegan man charged with murdering a taxi driver are trying to exclude testimony from the arresting officer.
Eric Rinehart, Darryel Garner’s defense attorney, filed a motion this week in Lake County Circuit Court claiming that testimony from officer Nathan Hucker should be barred because prosecutors have been unable to provide videotapes of the questioning that took place in Hucker’s squad car and a police booking room.
Garner, 41, is accused of murdering Park City taxi driver Patrick Foster in the early morning hours of March 13, 2010, in Zion.
Hucker arrested Garner, whose clothes were allegedly covered with the victim’s blood, law enforcement officials reported.
Rinehart and public defender Keith Grant also are attempting to suppress an alleged confession from Garner on grounds that he was intoxicated at the time of his interrogation.
Hucker had testified at a hearing Sept. 5 that Garner did not seem intoxicated and was not slurring his words, stumbling, ranting or acting fatigued at any point during the arrest and booking process.
Under cross examination by Rinehart, Hucker did acknowledge that he smelled a “faint” odor of alcohol on Garner in the booking room and that he had written “alcohol” on the jail log under “cautions” after Garner was placed in a jail cell. Another officer wrote on the police report that Garner claimed he had drank a “pint of hard alcohol” that night.
The motion also states that defense attorneys learned Zion police had videotaped recordings of Hucker’s questioning of Garner in the squad car and booking room and that those recordings should have been disclosed by the state in 2010.
The motion claims prosecutors announced Sept. 13 that those videos “no longer existed.”
Defense attorneys said Garner’s alleged intoxication brings into question several issues, including whether he knowingly waived his Miranda rights.
Because Garner is charged with first-degree murder, the motion states that “the stakes could not be higher for this defendant.”
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Oct. 8.
Foster died in May 2010 at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee.
Law enforcement authorities reported that Foster held Garner on the ground until police arrived after being shot five times on the 3100 block of Lebanon Avenue in Zion. He had bullet wounds to his neck, back and jaw, police said. He also called his wife twice after being shot.
According to police, Garner confessed that he shot Foster several times, intending to rob him.