Interrogation techniques questioned in drug death trial
A judge in Kentville will rule later this month whether a police interview with a 23-year-old Kings County man when he was allegedly going through withdrawal symptoms can be evidence at his trial.
Kyle David Fredericks is charged with criminal negligence causing death and trafficking in a controlled substance in the death of Joshua Graves.
Graves, 21, died on March 19, 2011 after taking a lethal mix of alcohol and Dilaudid at a house party in the Annapolis Valley the night before.
At issue are two videotaped statements collected by police. The first one involves Fredericks.
He was charged last March and after hours of interrogation he told police he passed Graves half a Dilaudid.
Now Fredericks contends he lied to police because he was experiencing a drug withdrawal and wanted the interview to end.
On Wednesday the court heard arguments on both sides about whether the police confession was collected fairly and if it can be admitted into evidence.
Defence lawyer Chris Manning argued the interview should be excluded because of aggressive police interrogation techniques.
The Crown prosecutor said the interrogation was oppressive, but argued Fredericks’ answers —the way he denied some things and admitted others — are proof he was in control of his emotions.
The two sides will return to court on Jan. 30 for the judge’s ruling on the interviews.
Meanwhile, doubts surrounding another taped interview were quashed.
Aaron Robichaud hosted the party Graves attended the night he died. He said in a videotaped statement to police that he saw Fredericks with Dilaudid or a crusher at the party, but he later recanted and said he was under the influence of Dilaudid at the time of the interview and was mistaken.
But Judge Allan Tufts ruled Robichaud's statement to police is admissible as evidence.
Fredericks’ family filed into the packed courtroom to watch the arguments on Wednesday. Graves’ father was also there, reported the CBC’s Jack Julian.
Fredericks is being held at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional facility in Burnside after breaching bail conditions and running from police.
He was charged after Graves' sister, Amy Graves, mounted a public campaign urging police to reopen the investigation into her brother's death.