A judge has ruled some of the statements made by a woman accused of murdering 12-yr-old Jonathan Foster in December 2010 won't be allowed in court.
Mona Nelson is accused of killing Foster in December,2010. She and her attorney claimed police coerced a confession from her by depriving her of sleep and medical care while questioning her at her home and at police stations for 17 hours.
Nelson’s attorney asked Judge Jeannine Barr to throw out five statements made by Nelson to police after a security camera allegedly recorded the boy's body being thrown from Nelson's truck in the 1600 block of Childress Street on December 28th, 2010.
Nelson choked up on the stand as she described hearing two detectives talk about the condition of the boy's badly burned body while she was riding in the backseat of their car.
Her attorney, Allen Turner alleged the comments were meant to elicit a confession from Nelson.
Nelson testified that police continued to question her after she asked to speak to an attorney five separate times. Nelson said she was tired and ill much of the time she was being interrogated. She said she never felt she could simply refuse to answer and leave. Nelson also claimed detectives lied in earlier testimony when they said she consented to a search of her truck, and that they had shown her video of the boy's body being dumped in a ditch.
HPD Detective Todd Miller testified Tuesday that after he showed Nelson eight seconds of the video, she said the truck looked like hers, and then went on to say it was her truck.
Judge Barr threw out one of Nelson's video taped statements, but will allow four others will to be admitted into evidence.
The Durham elementary 5th grader was reported missing on December 24, 2010. His badly burned body was found four days later.
Nelson worked as a maintenance worker at a nearby apartment building.
Investigators began to focus on Nelson after the security camera recorded a suspect who looked like her driving a Ford pickup truck that looked like hers dump the boy’s body in a roadside ditch.
Police never determined a motive for the killing.
Opening statements begins Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the bench trial. There is no jury. Judge Barr will hear the evidence and determine the verdict.
Nelson is charged with Capital Murder, but prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.