Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Letter delays murder trial


Defendant says document forged

BY Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The murder trial of a teen-ager was delayed Monday while authorities analyze a letter carrying his signature that places him at the scene of the crime.

        Prosecutors are seeking analysis of the letter, which is a second written account of the beating death of an Evanston man on Christmas Eve 1998.

        The letter bears the signature of the defendant, Julius Evans, 16, though he says he didn't write it. The letter was addressed to a friend who is also in the Hamilton County Justice Center. Prosecutors say he did write it, but asked the coroner's office to conduct fingerprint and handwriting tests to make sure.

        In the letter, the writer admits to being at the beating of Robert Hicks, who was attacked as he walked along Fernside Avenue, said Timothy Cutcher, Mr. Evans' attorney. But he said the letter also adds, “I didn't kill the dude.”

        It is the second significant written document to surface in the case.

        Mr. Evans was charged in the beating death after he wrote an essay while he was being held at Hillcrest School on unrelated charges. A counselor at the school had urged him to write about his criminal past.

        Mr. Cutcher says his client should have been given the standard Miranda warning against self-incrimination before writing the essay, He said the Hillcrest counselor pressured Mr. Evans, then 15, to write it and assured him it was essential to his release.

        Common Pleas Judge David Davis ruled that the essay can be part of the case.

        Mr. Cutcher cannot appeal that decision until after the trial, rescheduled for June 26.

        The second letter surfaced last week. It was sent to a friend of Mr. Evans who is awaiting trial on charges of aggravated robbery and, Mr. Cutcher pointed out, forgery.

       



20-year murder mystery still mystery to suspect's relatives
Learning to ignore the Dow
UC gains home for biotech research
Butler County auditor arrested
Former homeless addict becomes chairman of lobby group
Secrecy about ballpark upsets council members
Stadium contract delayed
Tristate cadavers not used for profit
Bessie Thomas, 112, was oldest county resident
House blaze injures four firefighters
Last-minute dash taxing
Legislature had hits, misses
Local projects in new state budget
Norwood trip brings complaint
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
It's not easy to know who's in old photos
A conversation with Barney
Franks' chamber works excite, delight
GET TO IT
TRISTATE DIGEST
WCET tops 'Action Auction' goal
You'll be 'Happy' with Todd Snider's new CD
AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH
2 more on Warren MRDD board resign
Airport hopes to expand
Benefit for burned-out cafe Saturday
Carnegie Center makes 2nd debut
Health focus of new center
Judge wants proof of liability in Mardi Gras claim
- Letter delays murder trial
Meeting confronts racial, diversity issues
Municipal golf rates on agenda
Newspaper appeals privacy ruling
Schools audit reveals errors
Shooting deliberate, jury told
Students stay late for popular computer class
Suspect avoids capital case
United Way's Aft to end 13 years as director