ELKMONT, Ala. (WHNT) — Attorneys for the Limestone County teenager charged with killing five of his family members in September 2019 says his statements and alleged confession should be thrown out because he wasn’t read his Miranda rights.
Prosecutors responded to that claim in a court filing Wednesday.
They argue Mason Sisk, who was 14 at the time of the killings in Elkmont, was not in custody when he was questioned; therefore, a Miranda warning was not required.
The defense says Sisk was handcuffed and placed in the back of a deputy’s car and asked questions. Later, he was put in then-Sheriff Mike Blakely’s truck and questioned – both without a Miranda warning.
In its filing, the prosecution cites a number of court cases, citing instances where Miranda isn’t needed, including Primm v. State and Oregon v. Mathison. See the full filing here.
One case includes the note, “The only relevant inquiry is how a reasonable man in the suspect’s position would have understood his position.”
Sisk’s capital murder trial is set to start next month.
While talking to investigators, he allegedly confessed to the killings of five family members.
Prosecutors say that even though Sisk was handcuffed in the back of a squad car, he wasn’t under arrest during that questioning, so Miranda was needed. They also cite Miranda exceptions because some questions were about the general investigative scene and a public safety exception, which is allowed during an emergency or rescue effort.
The prosecution says Sisk was given a juvenile Miranda warning “at a point” during questioning at the sheriff’s office. The filing doesn’t detail the facts of the incident or timing of the questioning.
Sisk’s suppression hearing is set for Monday, August 15.