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Published: Saturday, 3/3/2012

Judge to rule if jury hears interview in slaying case


A Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge will determine whether a jury will hear the interview of a man suspected in the asphyxiation deaths of a Springfield Township couple.

Samuel Williams, 24, of 1626 Kelsey Ave. is charged with two counts each of aggravated murder and of kidnapping and one count of aggravated burglary.

Judge Dean Mandros heard testimony Friday related to a defense motion to suppress Williams' statement to detectives, claiming he invoked his rights to have an attorney and to remain silent but that the interview continued. Tom Ross, an investigator for the prosecutor's office, testified that he read Williams his Miranda rights and that he did not believe Williams clearly cited his rights during the interview.

Williams and co-defendant Cameo Pettaway are charged in the slayings Jan. 31 of Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub, who were found dead in the Longacre Lane home of Miss Straub's parents. Williams is slated to go to trial June 4, with jury selection scheduled for the week before. Pettaway's trial is scheduled for the same week as Williams'.

The judge asked attorneys to offer further written argument before he makes his decision.

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