Amanda Hawkins sits in the Kerr County Jail at this time, awaiting a ruling by Judge Williams, regarding a motion to suppress filed by her court-appointed defense attorney, Kurt Rudkin.
The motion can be read in its entirety, here. It alleges, that the actions of law enforcement officers violated the constitutional and statutory rights of the Defendant under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Article 1, Sections 10 and 19 of the Texas Constitution, and under Article 38.22 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
The hearing lasted almost 5 hours Tuesday, with testimony from three investigators who had talked to Hawkins on either June 8th or June 12th, 2017.
There were two interviews conducted with Hawkins where the defense alleges that her rights were violated.
The first interview was on the afternoon of June 8th. The defense alleges that the interview went from non-custodial to custodial within 20-25 minutes of the interview, which was also around the time that it took for Amanda Hawkins to finally come clean and tell a story that was consistent with other witnesses in the case.
Prosecution witnesses said that at no time was Amanda in custody, or even told that she was a suspect in an investigation. They said that she was told that they were looking for honesty, but the tone was soft, and not threatening or aggressive in any way. Everyone in the room who had seen the interview tapes seemed to agree. The prosecution also claimed that she was free to leave at any time and that the doors were unlocked if she wanted to leave, but she spoke to investigators willingly.
Hawkins was brought back to the hospital, where she was not under surveillance, where she spent time with her daughters. In the meantime, investigators were getting a warrant, based mostly off of testimony from witnesses at the scene and partially from what Amanda had told investigators. Law enforcement served the warrant in a time period of 45 to 90 minutes after Amanda arrived back at the hospital. She was then arrested, and taken to Bexar County Jail.
She filed paperwork for a court-appointed attorney on the evening of June 8th and was appointed one on Friday, June 9th. She was extradited to Kerr County Jail on Monday, June 12th.
The defense alleges that her rights were violated again, during the second interview process. This is where the wording of what Hawkins said comes in to play. The defense alleges that Hawkins asked for an attorney twice during the second interview and was not given one.
The investigator testified that Hawkins was read Article 38-23 Miranda Rights in the interview and also signed the Miranda Warnings document. She also said that Amanda Hawkins did know “full well” what was going on in the interview room. She said that Amanda stated, “When do I get an attorney?” Unknowingly that Amanda was already appointed an attorney, the investigator said, “When the court appoints you one.” She then said that Amanda went on to talk to her freely and a little further into the interview Hawkins asked again, “When do I get an attorney”, and the investigator said once again, “When the court appoints you one”.
The defense is alleging that this is enough for the motion to be granted, claiming that by asking the question of, “When do I get an attorney?” that Hawkins was invoking her right. The prosecution says that asking “When do I get an attorney”, is different than saying, “I want my attorney”, or “I’ll answer questions when my attorney is present.” The prosecution went on to say that Hawkins went on to answer all questions freely and never invoked her rights. The prosecution also went on to say that a person can waive their right even after being given their Miranda rights.
Judge Williams had already watched the video of both interviews and had researched cases similar to this one before the hearing. He said that he wanted to go back and watch the video interviews again and do some more research before making his ruling and that he would give his ruling on this motion at a later date.
Meanwhile, they started working on a trial date for the case, which hasn’t been disclosed yet, but KBN will keep you updated every time there is an update in this case.