SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico’s highest court has ruled that prosecutors can’t use an incriminating statement by a Farmington murder suspect because he had invoked his constitutional right to remain silent while being questioned by police.
Donovan King was charged with murder in the May 2011 beating death of 40-year-old Kevin Lossiah, but the state Supreme Court ruled Monday that King’s statement to police can’t be used as evidence against him.
Co-defendant Justin Mark was convicted of murder last year and sentenced to life in prison.
The Supreme Court said King’s Fifth Amendment rights were violated because police persisted in interrogating him after he said he didn’t want to answer questions “at the moment” because he was intoxicated. The ruling upheld a decision by a state district court judge.