Attorneys for a man accused of four counts of child molestation have filed a motion to suppress statements made by the defendant during an interview with officers.
According to attorney Mike Wozniak, of Kingman-based Whitney & Whitney law firm, 48-year-old Lake Havasu City resident Dan Ellavsky voluntarily spoke with police officers prior to his arrest last July. Police say Ellavsky made self-incriminating statements during that interview, but according to Wozniak, those statements were gleaned through a deliberate subversion of Ellavsky’s Miranda rights.
Police say that during Ellavsky’s interview with officers last year, the defendant allegedly confessed to inappropriately touching a 13-year-old victim at his home on July 1, 2018.
“I am 100 percent to blame on this,” Ellavsky allegedly told officers when questioned. “I only want to be charged with what I’m guilty of.”
Ellavsky’s statements to officers were given before officers advised him of his Miranda rights, Wozniak said. Although he had not yet been placed under arrest when offering his statement, Wozniak says Ellavsky was detained, which made his interview with officers a “custodial interrogation.” As such, according to Wozniak’s motion, all statements given by the defendant prior to being advised on his Miranda rights are inadmissible in court.
According to Wozniak, Ellavsky’s statements were given almost immediately after his “unlawful” interrogation, prior to receiving his Miranda warning. As such, any statements made after that warning was given should also be suppressed.
Wozniak said in his motion that officers’ questions before and after Ellavsky received his Miranda warning were nearly identical, representing a deliberate effort to subvert Ellavsky’s rights, and prevented him from knowing that he had an option to disengage from questioning at any time.
“The defendant’s pre-Miranda statements should be suppressed because no reasonable person in Danny’s position would have felt free to leave during his interview, and was not read his Miranda warnings” Wozniak wrote to the court. “Further, the defendant’s post-Miranda statements made to (officers) should be suppressed because the state made no attempt to either cure or dissipate the taint of the unlawful pre-Miranda interview.”
A hearing in Mohave County Superior Court has been scheduled June 13 to determine whether there is cause to suppress Ellavsky’s statements to police.
Ellavsky remains free from custody on $40,000 bond.