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Spanish-Speaking Suspect Didn't Know Rights

October 27, 2005

By ROB PHILLIPS, NORTHWEST HERALD - rphillips@nwherald.com

WOODSTOCK - All statements made to police by a Harvard man charged in the killing of a downtown Harvard store owner should be dismissed because the Spanish-speaking suspect did not understand his rights, a defense lawyer said Wednesday.

Jose Rodriguez-Tellez, 21, of 807 Washington St., could not comprehend his rights as explained by police officers, lawyer Hank Sugden said.

"He's Hispanic, and his rights were read to him in English," Sugden said outside of court. "They gave him his Miranda rights translated in Spanish, but he is only educated through the third grade."

Sugden filed a motion to suppress any conversations, statements or confessions made by Rodriguez-Tellez after his rights allegedly were violated.

Sugden and prosecutors are scheduled to argue the matter during a hearing Nov. 17. A Nov. 14 trial date has been postponed.

Robert Beaderstadt, criminal chief for the McHenry County state's attorney's office, said Rodriguez-Tellez knew exactly what he was doing when he spoke with police.

"He completely, voluntarily and intentionally waived his rights," Beaderstadt said. "He gave no indication that he did not want to voluntarily talk with investigators."

Rodriguez-Tellez is accused in the shooting death of Jose Medina, who owned a Western wear and music store on Ayer Street in Harvard. Medina was shot in the head multiple times the night of March 3, 2004.

Sugden says in his written motion that Rodriguez-Tellez never signed a statement or said that he would give up his rights.

"He was unable to appreciate and understand the meaning of his Miranda rights and any relinquishment of these rights was not the free choice of [Rodriguez-Tellez,]" Sugden said in court documents.

Located in Crystal Lake, Illinois, the lawyers at Madsen, Sugden & Gottemoller, Attorneys at Law, represent clients in McHenry County, including the communities of: Crystal Lake, McHenry, Waukegan, Woodstock, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Cary, Elgin, Dundee, Barrington, Harvard, Marengo, and Johnsburg.

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