Kansas appeals court upholds suppressed statements

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas appeals court has ruled that a Reno County judge properly suppressed police interviews of a defendant in the murder case of a Hutchinson mother who was killed in what prosecutors called a case of mistaken identity.

Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder said it will take him several days to digest the decision before deciding how to proceed in the case of Billy Joe Craig, who is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2011 slaying of Jennifer Heckel.

Prosecutors say Craig drove two men to Heckel’s home, where she was fatally shot while her 5-year-old son was in another room.

District Judge Tim Chambers suppressed Craig’s comments to police in several interviews because they were not given voluntarily.

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