BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) — A judge is reviewing recorded police interviews of a woman accused of suffocating her three young sons as he considers her lawyers’ request to exclude her confession.
Attorneys representing 24-year-old Brittany Pilkington in the potential death penalty case claim the statements were obtained unconstitutionally and violated her Fifth and 14th Amendment rights.
The defense team said authorities pressured Pilkington into confessing and she didn’t understand what she was doing when she agreed to be interviewed without a lawyer. Prosecutors rejected that.
“These were not statements that were coerced but were given voluntarily,” Logan County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Eric Stewart said.
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Defense attorney Marc Triplett said police were aware of Pilkington’s lack of mental acuity and she didn’t understand when she signed a form waiving her Miranda rights.
Stewart countered by noting that Pilkington obtained her high school diploma and that she was advised of her rights by officers at the police station and then again at the sheriff’s office.
Pilkington can be heard in the tapes telling officers that she was sleeping with her one son in bed and then woke up on top of him. She also was recorded saying she held a blanket over her other son’s face.
Authorities allege Pilkington killed her 3-month-old son in August 2015, a 4-year-old brother in April 2015 and a baby brother in July 2014 out of jealousy at the attention her husband gave the boys. The couple’s 5-year-old daughter remains in the custody of relatives.
The Bellefontaine (behl-FOWN’-tihn) woman has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges.
Her trial is scheduled for late February.