Local News

Attorneys Want Accused Murderer's Confession Thrown Out

Posted December 15, 2004

— Andrew Dalzell admitted to police he killed Deborah Key.

"He stated, 'I didn't mean for it to happen, I snapped... I put her body in a dumpster in Wilmington.' " said Cpl. Sean Everett of the Carrboro Police Department.

But defense attorney James Williams claims Carrboro police got that confession through "unconscionable deceit." He points to a letter and an arrest warrant as proof officers crossed the line.

Officers testified in a hearing on Wednesday they used fake documents to scare Dalzell.

"I showed him a letter drafted and he started crying and talking about his mother and family," Everett said.

One was a letter that appeared to be from District Attorney Carl Fox. That letter said the state would seek the death penalty unless Dalzell told investigators where they could find Key's body.

They also showed him an arrest warrant with a judge's name on it -- but no signature.

In reality, the only official arrest warrant the officers had was for larceny, not murder.

But, they didn't tell Dalzell that.

Prosecutor Carl Fox points out that once Dalzell started to confess, officers read him rights and he never objected.

The judge in the case is expected to make a ruling in January.

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