Around New England

DA Appealing Suppression of Skulls in Grave Robbing Case

Police in Hartford, Connecticut didn’t read a 34-year-old man his Miranda rights when they showed up at his apartment in December 2015 after receiving a call that the man had human skeletal remains in his home and so prosecutors can’t use what cops found there, a judge has ruled.

The man, Amador Medina, told police that he practiced Palo Mayombe, a syncretistic religion common in the Caribbean that fuses West African animism with certain Roman Catholic beliefs. He said he was using the bones, which police in Worcester, Massachusetts say he stole from the Houghton and Norcross family mausoleums at Hope Cemetery there, to perform a healing ritual, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Hartford police went to the apartment because they had gotten a 911 call from a man who said that Medina had three human skulls on his porch.

Worcester prosecutors have argued that the man didn’t need to be informed of his rights to remain silent and to have a lawyer to represent him because he wasn’t in custody at the time of the questioning. But Judge Shannon Frison, a Deval Patrick nominee, disagreed. She tossed the bones and the statements Medina made to police.

Prosecutors are appealing the ruling to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

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