Defense attorneys want teen's confession in triple murder thrown - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Defense attorneys want teen's confession in triple murder thrown out

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Rachel Pittman, 17 (Courtesy: Bowie County Sheriff's Office) Rachel Pittman, 17 (Courtesy: Bowie County Sheriff's Office)
Family photos of Guinevere Doss, Texas Johnson and Amanda Doss Family photos of Guinevere Doss, Texas Johnson and Amanda Doss
NEW BOSTON, TX (KSLA) -

Defense attorneys for the Redwater teen accused in the death of a Bowie County mother and her two children are trying to get statements she made to law enforcement thrown out.

17-year-old Rachel Pittman is charged as an adult with capital murder for May 2011 the deaths of 34-year-old Amanda Doss and 11-year-old Guinevere Doss and is facing a separate murder charge for 8-year-old Texas Johnson. Investigators say the three were murdered in their home before a fire was set to cover up the crime.

At a hearing Wednesday in 202nd District Court in New Boston, Bowie County Sheriff James Prince testified that he received a call on August 12, 2011 from a woman who was 'hysterical.' He says he arranged to meet with her. When they met up at his truck, it was Rachel Pittman and her mother. Prince says Rachel Pittman told him, "I killed Amanda." From there, he says they went to the Bi-State Justice Center, where she was processed and gave an official statement.

Her father testified that he was not allowed to see her when he arrived at the jail, so that he could advise her not to talk without an attorney. But Prince says Pittman made it clear that she wanted to talk, and that she did not want anyone with her when she made the statement to investigators.

Pittman's attorney Tonda Curry argued that she was not processed properly under Texas law because she was taken directly to the Bi-State Justice Center instead of to a juvenile facility. He also argued that under the Texas Family Code, Pittman should not have been left alone without her parents or an attorney present when she made her official statement to authorities.

The judge who processed Pittman also testified, saying that the teen made the statement to her while holding the Bible. Judge Nancy Talley says Pittman was asked if she wanted an attorney twice, and the girl said no.

Judge Talley also testified that Pittman "knowingly and intelligently" waived her rights.

Judge Leon Peseck Jr. is expected to rule within a matter of days on whether to grant the defense motion to suppress her statements.

Pittman is set to go to trial on January 14 in Rusk County. Because she was 16 at the time of the crime, Pittman will not be eligible for the death penalty if convicted. She could face life in prison.

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