Judge rejects motion to suppress evidence in Anderson case

Jan. 31, 2013 @ 05:36 PM

Defense motions to suppress evidence in the murder trial of Lamate Anderson were denied in Union County Superior Court last week.

Anderson is charged with stabbing neighbor Yolanda Devon Simon to death in her home at 2930 Cripple Creek Court on Feb. 28, 2010. Investigators believe Anderson killed Simon in front of her young daughter.

Last week, Judge David Lee denied defense attorney Richard Culler's motions to remove the findings of a search warrant of Anderson's home and statements Anderson made to officers shortly after being arrested. Culler argued that Monroe Police Lt. T.J. Goforth lied on a probable cause affidavit upon which a magistrate based her decision to issue a search warrant for Anderson's home at 2923 Cripple Creek Court in Monroe.

In his order, Lee disagreed, stating that testimony by Goforth and several other officers that worked the scene fit what was declared in Goforth's Probable Cause Affidavit (PCA). The order stated that the PCA supported the search warrant and evidence found inside Anderson's home during the search is permissible. Lee ruled that "neither the validity of the search warrant nor its veracity can seriously be questioned" based on information presented.

"The credible testimony and exhibits received during this evidentiary hearing comport with the facts and circumstances set forth in the PCA," the order states. "The PCA set forth in good faith both the substance and essential details of the information that was then within the common knowledge of Lieutenant Goforth and other officers who responded to the scene between 6:18 p.m. and 10:54 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2010."

Culler also filed a motion to throw out Anderson's statements to a Monroe officer and an State Bureau of Investigation agent the night of his arrest. The defense argued that Anderson was illegally interrogated. Since it appears Anderson will enter an insanity plea, Culler argues that the defendant did not know right from wrong and was not competent to waive his Miranda rights and make a statement to officers.

The motion was denied. Lee ruled that Anderson calmly responded to questions, answered that he did understand his right to an attorney and voluntarily told officers that he stabbed Simon. The officers questioning him made no promises in return for Anderson's compliance, the order stated.

The statement, which includes Anderson saying he heard voices in his head starting in 2008, will be used in the murder trial.

Lee also denied the prosecution's motion requesting Anderson undergo additional psychological evaluations.

The trial is scheduled to resume on Feb. 15, 2013, according to court documents.