Defense argues Sisk was under de facto arrest at time of confession
LIMESTONE Co., Ala. (WAFF) - In July, an Elkmont teen accused of murdering his family in 2019 filed a motion to suppress a confession because he says it took place before he was read his Miranda Rights.
On Aug. 29, the defense team submitted a brief that summarizes its reasoning for suppression. The prosecution is scheduled to submit their brief to the court by 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Court documents in the case against an Elkmont teen that is accused of murdering his family members in 2019 detail events that took place before the alleged murders.
Mason Sisk is accused of killing his parents and three siblings. In April 2021, Mason Sisk pleaded not guilty to the capital murder charges.
Court documents show that Mason Sisk and his defense team claim that the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office did not read him his Miranda Rights prior to questioning.
According to the court documents, Captain Royals with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office asked Mason Sisk, “Can you tell me a little about what happened tonight?”
The defense team for Mason Sisk says that any statement made by the defendant prior to being read his Miranda Rights should be struck from the case.
On Aug. 10, the State of Alabama submitted a request for the court to deny the defendant’s motion to suppress. The State cited multiple past court cases and scenarios in an attempt to nullify the defense’s motion.
The State of Alabama argues that in previous rulings it has been determined that the reading of Miranda Rights is not required unless the suspect has been arrested or is in custody. The State argues that the defendant was not under arrest at the time of the questioning.
In the defense team’s brief, they argue that while Sisk may not have been in custody, he was never informed that he was able to leave during the hour and 40 minutes that he was at the scene.
The defense also argues that Sisk should have been considered in custody once the interaction with the first deputy occurred. The defense says that Sisk’s phone was taken and his request to make a phone call was denied.
The defense team summarizes its brief by saying that the prosecution was relying on a prior ruling of Lane v. State. The defense says that this case is different because Lane was never handcuffed or placed in a locked patrol vehicle during his detention like Sisk was.
Sisk’s defense team argues that the defendant was placed in a de facto arrest and therefore should have been read his Miranda Rights.
The State also argues that the questions asked of Sisk were in the nature of a crime witness interview.
The prosecution filed its brief on Aug. 30, in the brief, the prosecution argues that Sisk waived his right by signing a Juvenile Miranda warning form. The brief submitted by the prosecution also argues that once Sisk was seen as a suspect, he was advised of his rights.
On July 14, released court documents detailed events involving Mason Sisk and his family members. One event describes Mason Sisk as being, “forceful to other children (his siblings) in the home and had “anger control” issues with his brother.”
In the document, it is described that Mason Sisk, “allegedly put peanut butter into Mary Sisk’s coffee when he was aware that she had a severe peanut butter allergy.”
Mary Sisk was Mason Sisk’s stepmother whom he allegedly murdered along with his father, John.
The court documents also reveal that Mason Sisk threatened his father and stepmother and stole two rings from Mary Sisk.
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