Accused killer wants confession tossed
BY BRIAN STANLEY email@example.com May 15, 2012 4:52PM
Matthew T. Edwards
Updated: June 17, 2012 8:18AM
JOLIET — A 19-year-old man facing charges of murder and attempted murder told a judge he didn’t understand he could’ve waited to talk to his mother or a lawyer before detectives questioned him.
On Tuesday, lawyers for Matthew T. Edwards argued Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak should not allow his videotaped confession to be used in his upcoming trial.
On July 7, 2009, Joshua Terdic, 21, and Lauren Vasilakis, then 19, were sleeping in their apartment when two men broke in, robbed them, tied them up and shot them both in the head.
Vasilakis survived and was able to free herself and call police while Terdic later died from his injuries.
Vasilakis identified one of the intruders as their friend, Jason Orasco, and police arrested Orasco, his girlfriend, Ashley Hill, Edwards and Mary Vetor at Vetor’s house later that day.
Orasco, 27, and Vetor, 26, have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery and home invasion.
Hill, 19, agreed to testify against the others in exchange for pleading guilty to home invasion and receiving an 11-year sentence.
Vetor received 61 years, which is about the minimum Orasco will face.
Edwards, who allegedly fired the shots, was 17 at the time and would be considered a juvenile charged as an adult, attorney Edward Jaquays said.
Edwards testified that he had been diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, mood disorder, bipolar and depression, but detectives did not ask about his mental issues.
He dropped out of high school after his sophomore year and skipped many classes while he was enrolled.
Edwards is estimated to have a sixth-grade reading level.
“When they handed me the (Miranda warning form) I didn’t read them, I just initialed them,” he told Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Mike Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald asked Edwards if he understood the words “you,” “have,” “right,” “remain” and “silent.” After associating “remain” with “stay,” Edwards acknowledged knowing what each meant.
“I’d never heard the word ‘attorney’ before. I knew what a lawyer is,” Edwards said.
Bertani-Tomczak is expected to rule on the motion to suppress the confession Tuesday.