Jurors won’t hear testimony that a Baldwin County murder suspect confessed to shooting and killing a man.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that key statements Artenimus Rayshun Mack made to investigators will not be admissible because Mack invoked his constitutional right to remain silent.
Mack was arrested in Gwinnett County on Nov. 1, 2012, the day after Travin Montez Davis’ body was found on the side of a Baldwin County road, not far from the Oconee River.
Mack signed a form waiving his Miranda rights before the first interview on the day of his arrest, during which he said he was there when Davis was killed, but did not shoot him.
After a 90-minute break, investigators pointed out inconsistencies in his account and the forensic evidence, according to the court ruling.
Lt. Robert Langford informed Mack he would probably face drug possession charges for marijuana found in his car. Mack tried to end the interview.
“I’m done. I have no more to say. I’m done,” the transcript showed.
The interview continued another 30 minutes with Mack denying that he shot Davis and Langford trying to persuade him to fess up and admit his “mistake.”
The next morning, investigators questioned him again.
Mack waived his Miranda rights a second time and still denied killing Davis.
A frustrated Langford ended the interview and escorted him out of the interrogation room, court documents showed.
Langford later testified that Mack initiated a final interview about 10 minutes later.
Langford again read Mack his Miranda rights before the confession.
Mack was indicted and his attorney filed a motion to suppress Mack’s statements.
The trial court decided the videotaped statements could be entered as evidence because Mack “did not unequivocally invoke his right to remain silent” and that he “purposefully reinitiated” the conversation.
The Supreme Court reversed that decision.
The opinion says that investigators should have ended the interview when Mack said he was done and should not have tried to interview him again the next day.
Although Mack apparently requested the final interview, the court determined “Mack’s request to speak with Langford was the product of improper interrogation rather than Mack’s own considered deliberation.”
Mack is charged with murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.