Attorney seeks to have Norwalk murder confession thrown out
STAMFORD-Before jury selection begins Wednesday in a Norwalk murder case, the attorney representing Bertony Thompson will argued to throw out his client’s confession that he strangled his long-time girlfriend to death.
Thompson, 48, has been in jail since the day he allegedly killed his girlfriend Jacalyn Silverman, 62, in their Wolfpit Avenue apartment on Sept. 10, 2014, unable to raise a $1 million court appearance bond.
A Stamford judge offered Thompson a 30-year jail sentence in return for a guilty plea to the murder. But Thompson and his attorney Allen Williams turned the offer down because Thompson says he remembers nothing of the killing and never intended to kill Silverman. In January Thompson also rejected a second, 28-year offer.
The trial is scheduled to begin April 30 with Judge John Blawie presiding. If convicted Thompson could be sentenced to the maximum for murder in Connecticut, 60 years in jail.
In a motion to throw out Thompson’s confession filed at the Stamford courthouse, attorney Allen Williams argues that his client has no recollection talking to detectives in Norwalk Hospital after Silverman’s body was discovered.
Williams said 40 hours before a filmed interview took place at Norwalk police headquarters, Thompson had been taken to Norwalk Hospital with a blood alcohol reading of .409, about five times the legal driving limit of .08.
Williams said police talked to Thompson in the hospital without warning him of his constitutional rights after they contested his claim that he did not remember the facts the police claim he later provided. Williams says the police say they tried to record the interview, but the recording device was inadvertently put on pause during the conversation.
In a subsequent interview filmed at police headquarters, Williams says Thompson can clearly be seen in physical distress and therefore incapable of voluntarily waiving his constitutional rights.
Police say that Thompson told detectives that he and Silverman “got into a tussle” over his drinking. He said he grabbed her by the throat and pushed her.
He said he then went downstairs to drink more. After returning to the bedroom, he realized Silverman was dead and layed down beside her until police and firefighters arrived.
The circumstances of his interrogations Williams said, “forces the conclusion that ... because of his demonstrated mental capacity he did not nor could he knowingly, had he been given his rights in each occurrence, give his consent to either interrogation.”
Norwalk police got wind something was wrong in the apartment when a cousin of Thompson’s told police that Thompson sent his father in South Carolina a text on Sept. 10, 2014 asking him, “please bring my body home.”
After firefighters forced their way into the apartment through a window, they found Thompson passed out in bed with his girlfriend dead beside him. Scratches and bruises were observed on her neck.
The office of the Chief Medical Examiner later ruled that Silverman, 62, had been strangled.
Thompson, who was observed to have scratches on his neck, was taken to Norwalk Hospital in an unresponsive state while apparently very drunk. When first roused, he was seen to begin crying and then became unresponsive again, his arrest affidavit states.