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O’Connor’s decision, released Friday, details several questions the judge weighed in making the decision.
The first was whether Pilkington knowingly waived her right to have an attorney present. She did, O’Connor said, because she signed two separate forms acknowledging that she understood and waived that right.
The second question was whether or not there was any “coercive police activity.” O’Connor decided there was.
“This is due to their length, the fact that five officers over the course of time participated in the interrogation or the polygraph examination, that the interrogation and most damning admissions were made at the end of this lengthy interrogation and after the defendant was yelled at by one officer with the chief of police conducting the confrontational examination,” O’Connor’s decision said.
On the third question, whether the coercive police conduct critically impaired Pilkington’s capacity to give a voluntary statement, O’Connor decided it did not.
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The factors considered were: Pilkington’s age, mental state, past criminal experience; the length, intensity and frequency of the interrogation; and whether there were any deprivations, mistreatment, threats or inducements.
O’Connor wrote there was no direct evidence that Pilkington had any mental deficiencies. He said despite not having any food, water or a bathroom break during the nine hour series of interviews, she remained calm and composed throughout and able to communicate.
“The court finds that the statements made to the police on August 18, 2015 were voluntary,” O’Connor concluded in denying the motion to suppress. Pilkington’s, “will was not overborn nor was her capacity for self-discrimination critically impaired during the conduct of these interviews.”