Collier judge to rule Nov. 22 whether to throw out teen's statements in bus stop stabbing case

Video from NBC-2

— A Collier judge Wednesday postponed ruling on a motion to suppress statements made by a teen charged in the January stabbing death of his schoolmate at a bus stop.

Collier Circuit Judge Lauren Brodie made the decision following an hourlong hearing in which defense attorney Donald Day argued his client, Jorge Saavedra, twice requested counsel during an interview with Andrew Henchesmoore, a detective with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. Brodie said she will issue the ruling Nov. 22.

Saavedra, 15, is charged in the death of Dylan Nuno, 16, at a Golden Gate Estates bus stop Jan. 24, while both teens were on the way home from Palmetto Ridge High School.

In a videotaped statement from the afternoon of the stabbing, during which the detective, Saavedra and his mother, Maipe Estevez, were present, the teen stated, “I want a lawyer.”

“It is straightforward and clear,” Day said in court.

Moreover, Day alleged that the detective promised Saavedra would receive free counsel if he cooperated during the interview.

The state countered that the detective did not deviate from protocol and did not cajole Saavedra into giving a statement.

“(Henchesmoore is) not telling any lies, he’s not using any trickery ... he’s saying that this is your opportunity to speak with us,” said Tom Gorman III, assistant state attorney, of the detective’s line of questioning. “This is not a situation in which coercion is taking place.”

Gorman added that in addition to acknowledging his Miranda rights, Saavedra also initialed written waivers.

“He reads those aloud and says that he understands this,” Gorman said.

Saavedra can be heard at that beginning of the video debating with his mother in Spanish several times whether he should talk with detectives. His mother, who was present in the courtroom Wednesday along with Saavedra’s father, expressed concern at the time of the her son’s questioning about the cost of an attorney, at which point the investigators tell the teen he has the right to free counsel.

Day previously said a history of bullying preceded the events at the bus stop that day — which Nuno’s father denied immediately following the stabbing, and which the teen’s mother echoed after the hearing Wednesday.

“He wasn’t a bully, I can tell you that,” Kim Maxwell said outside the courthouse.

Saavedra’s next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 7-9, when his attorney is expected to argue the teen acted in self-defense, under Florida law often referred to as Stand Your Ground.

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