A videotaped interrogation of Cody Roberson, filmed hours after his mother was found beaten to death, will not be thrown out in the murder case against him.
District Court Judge Don Jones denied a request from Roberson’s attorney, Heath Allen, to suppress statements Roberson made on the tape.
Jones ruled that the interrogation could be admitted into evidence and set a tentative trial date for Aug. 13.
Roberson, 17, is accused of beating his mother to death with a baseball bat in the family's home in January.
Roberson was wearing a black and white striped jail uniform and his hands and feet were shackled when he took the stand, telling the judge that the statements he made to Texas Ranger Joe Hutson were "coerced."
"He (Hutson) was trying to coerce me into making a confession I was not willing to make," Roberson said. "It (the interrogation) was involuntary… because of the state I was in."
Roberson and his attorney claimed when the recorded and videotaped statements were made, Roberson was tired, hungry and distraught over his mother's death.
But Hutson disputed that claim saying Roberson was completely aware of what was happening during the questioning and had been advised of his rights before the interview began.
"There is no doubt in my mind that he knew what was going on," Hutson said.
The defense also claimed that Roberson tried to show Hutson that he wanted to "terminate" the questioning by "remaining quiet for 20 minutes."
But Assistant District Attorney Jason Cashon said Roberson was silent not because he was trying to end the questioning, but because he was crying. When he asked Roberson if he ever told Hutson he wanted to end the questioning, Roberson said he did not.
On the videotape, Roberson first blamed his mother's death on his 15-year-old girlfriend saying he saw her "holding the bat" and standing over his dead mother.
Rather than seeking help for his mother, Roberson claimed he panicked and fled the home. Eventually, he changed his story and - sobbing — admitted that he and his mother had some type of dispute before she was killed. He also told Hutson where investigators could find the discarded bat.
Sara Vanden Berge covers courts, law enforcement, and business and political issues for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her work number is 968-2379, ext. 240.