Friscia acquitted – Judge cites “Constitutional violations”

Print Article

In a non-jury trial June 24, Mary Friscia of Polson was acquitted of charges filed in 2018 of felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

The acquittal order, signed by District Judge Kim Christopher, states that the defendant was questioned by Lt. Levi Reed of Lake County Sheriff’s Office after being taken into custody by Undersheriff Ben Wood. This initial interview was unrecorded and occurred prior to Friscia being read her “…Constitutional Rights pursuant to both Montana and the U.S. Constitution…” the document states. After the unrecorded interview, Friscia was read her rights, and then the recorder was turned on as the interview proceeded.

Deputy County Attorney James Lapotka called Lt. Reed as the first witness at the bench trial. Defendant’s counsel, Glen Neier, objected that prosecution’s questions stemmed from information received in the unrecorded, pre-Miranda interview, and were therefore based on hearsay and lack of foundation.

Lt. Reed “testified that he never informed the Defendant of the inadmissibility of her previous pre-Miranda statements after giving the Miranda warning,” the acquitting order reads.

The requirement to inform a defendant of her right to remain silent, her right to representation by an attorney, and other rights is often called “Miranda Rights,” based on the 1966 U.S. case Miranda v. Arizona. Judge Christopher cited this case and “voluminous case law in both state and federal law” in the acquittal.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Sailors escape serious injury in storm

August 15, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Lake County Leader Six people and one dog were rescued Saturday evening by Lake County Search and Rescue after three sailboats beached on Bull Island in Flathead Lake during a severe storm with winds upwards of 50 mp...

Comments

Read More

Deputy White healing well

August 15, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Lake County Leader Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan White, who was burned while assisting a motorist whose vehicle had broken down on Highway 93 last week, reports he is home and “healing remarkably well,” and his...

Comments

Read More

Pedal to Plate registration opens

August 15, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Lake County Leader Mission Mountain Area Pedal to Plate will host its second annual ride through the Mission Valley, showcasing local farms and agriculture Sunday, Sept.22, 2019. The 40-mile ride begins and ends at th...

Comments

Read More

Woman denies felony theft charges

August 15, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Lake County Leader At an arraignment hearing Aug. 8, Annie Morigeau pleaded not guilty to charges of felony theft and felony forgery related to her volunteer work as treasurer for the St. Ignatius Fire Department. ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 883-4343
PO BOX 1090
Polson, MT 59860

©2019 Lake County Leader Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X