A Los Angeles Superior Court judge denied a defense motion on Monday by a “reality television star” accused of burglarizing the home of actor Orlando Bloom to have her statements to police barred from her upcoming trial.
Alexis Neiers, 18, testified that she did not understand her Miranda rights to remain silent and have an attorney present for her interviews.
Neiers’ attorneys argued that she repeatedly asked for an attorney while being questioned by police at her home and at a police station after her arrest last year.
However, Judge Leslie A. Swain disagreed, saying a videotape of Neiers’ interview showed that she had ample opportunity to invoke her constitutional “right to an attorney.” The judge said the statements will be admissible during her upcoming Jury Trial, which is scheduled to begin on May 10th.
Judge Swain said Neiers turned down plea offers that would have sent her to county jail for a year and would have required her to be on Felony Probation for several years.
“I’ve never been in that situation before,” Neiers testified about her arrest and interview by police. “For me, I didn’t really understand.”
A transcript of her hour-long interview shows she did not ask for her attorney until late in the session. The transcript shows the detective then stopped questioning her.
Reader’s Note: If guilty of burglarizing a celebrity’s home, immediately ask for your attorney (do not wait until the end of the interview, after you’ve confessed to the crime, to invoke your right to counsel!)
Neiers told the judge she answered a detective’s questions “because I didn’t know any better.”
Co-Defendant Nicholas Prugo, the alleged ringleader of the group, is also seeking to have his lengthy statement to a detective ruled inadmissible.
In court filings, Prugo’s attorneys argued that his cooperation was so substantial — and detrimental to his safety — that seven (7) Felony Residential Burglary charges against him should be dropped.
The Court filings contend that prosecutors have a duty to offer Prugo a “plea deal” that would allow him to avoid jail time. They also contend Prugo only cooperated with police at the advice of his former attorney because he expected a favorable plea deal.
“A criminal case is not a Las Vegas casino and a person does not cooperate with law enforcement gambling on a result,” Prugo’s current attorney Daniel Horowitz wrote in the motion.
“I do not disagree that cooperating was the right thing to do,” Prugo himself wrote in a declaration accompanying the motion. “However, I would not have provided information and cooperation that increased the charges against me and increased my chances of being identified as a ‘snitch’ or ‘rat’ without the expectation of a fair plea agreement.”
Prugo’s Motion states the arrest of Neiers was a direct result of Prugo’s statements to police.
In a transcript of her interview with police, Neiers claimed she was drunk (Note to self: “voluntary intoxication is not a valid legal defense in the State of Florida where this author practices) when she went to the actor’s home with three (3) other people. She told a detective she didn’t take anything from the house.
Four (4) other suspects are charged in burglaries at the homes of Hollywood stars Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Rachel Bilson.
If you’ve been arrested for a Crime of Violence like Residential Burglary, the Clearwater-based Blake & Dorsten, P.A. is on your side.
Former State of Florida Gang Unit Prosecutor Nicholas J. Dorsten, Esq. handles Felony cases throughout the Tampa Bay area (and select cases throughout the State of Florida).
If your criminal case requires an experienced and aggressive defense, the Blake & Dorsten, P.A. will be there for you.
For more information or to discuss your case with us, please contact the Blake & Dorsten, P.A. at 727.286.6141. You can also email Nicholas at: email@example.com
Nicholas J. Dorsten, Esq.
Blake & Dorsten, P.A., LLC www.blakedorstenlaw.com