Court Agrees to Suppress Some Statements in Kalamazoo Shooting Trial

Apr 20, 2017

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting, right, and Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Williams, left, on Thursday
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

A Kalamazoo judge has agreed to leave some statements that accused mass shooter Jason Dalton made to police after his arrest out of Dalton’s trial. The court will allow the use of other parts of Dalton’s interviews.

Dalton is accused of killing six people and seriously injuring two others as he drove around Kalamazoo on February 20, 2016. Lawyer for the defense Eusebio Solis argued that after Dalton’s arrest, police badgered the accused into talking after he invoked his right to silence. On Thursday, Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Alexander Lipsey agreed in part. He said that officers seemed to be angling for a confession the first time they interviewed Dalton.

“The court is very troubled by that particular course of conduct,” Lipsey said on Thursday.

But Lipsey said that police acted correctly in a second interview, because Dalton waived his right to silence before a detective questioned him.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says the case against Dalton is strong regardless of what he told police.

“But we’re happy to be able to use the inculpatory statements of the defendant that were made to the Michigan State Police against him in trial,” he says.

Getting says he met with family members of shooting victims after the decision Thursday.

“They’re anxious for this matter to get to a trial. It’s been over a year now already and, you know, the delays are difficult for the victims and their families,” he added.

The trial is set to begin June 13.