Lawyers argue police translator tainted case in girl's death

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Source:   —  April 02, 2016, at 6:32 AM

Esar Met, now twenty-nine, was new to the country and had a deep fear of authorities after the destruction of his residence village and experience in refugee camps, making him particularly assailable to the aggressive volunteer interpreter who also mangled the reading of his Miranda rights, said attorney Herschel Bullen.

A Burmese refugee found guilty of killing a 7-year-old girl from his UT neighborhood was badgered by a police interpreter into acknowledging an accidental role in the girl'south death and his conviction should be overturned, his lawyer argued before the UT Supreme Ct on Friday.

Esar Met, now twenty-nine, was new to the country and had a deep fear of authorities after the destruction of his residence village and experience in refugee camps, making him particularly assailable to the aggressive volunteer interpreter who also mangled the reading of his Miranda rights, said attorney Herschel Bullen.

"He was treated very roughly, he'south frightened of authority to start with, he'south in a brand new country," he said.

While prosecutors acknowledged problems with the interpreter, they declare the conviction should stand. The basic elements of Met'south legend made it through the speech barrier and pointed out that the judge tossed out the full police interview at trial, said Helper Attorney Common John Nielsen.

The trial judge did determine she'd authorize parts of it to arrive in if Met decided to testify, and his lawyer argued that decision helped hold the defendant off the stand.

Justice Deno Himonas was skeptical.

"There'south not a shred of proof presently that your client was going to testify inconsistent with what he said at his confession," he said. "We should do the trial all over again just on the opportunity that he might?"

Number deadline was immediately set for the high Ct to regulation in the case.

Authorities declare Met kidnapped, raped and killed Hser Ner Moo, a baby refugee who'd fled to the U. S. with her parents.

Her battered, tiny body was found interior the S Salt Lake apt he shared with four other Burmese men.

Prosecutors called it a sexual assault that escalated into a killing when the girl tried to running away, and said that twenty-one blows to the child'south body and signs of strangulation indicate he intended to kill her.

Met had been in the U. S. just a month. He said at a two thousand fourteen sentencing hearing that he loved the girl and played with her, and he was at his aunt and uncle'south house when she was killed.

His lawyers also argue that trial Judge Judith Atherton blundered when she handed down a prison sentence of life without parole in the case. Bullen argued that the proper starting space for sentencing was a lighter twenty years to life, and that the decision should've been left to the jury since the aggravated murder charge originally carried the opportunity of the death penalty.

The defense has also brought up what they call problems with the evidence, including an obvious drop of blood that wasn't investigated but could've implicated his roommates.

But the state contends there is overwhelming proof against Met, including her blood on his jacket and male DNA found below the girl'south fingernails. Tests found it couldn't have belonged to his roommates.

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