PORTLAND, Maine — A judge has decided 90 minutes of a confessional interview with the man accused of killing Cpl. Eugene Cole will be used in court. The judge ruled the first hour and 28 minutes of John Williams's interview at the Waterville Police Dept. after he was apprehended in the Norridgewock woods was made voluntarily and will stand up in court.
John Williams led law enforcement on a four-day manhunt after he allegedly shot and killed Somerset County Sheriff's Corporal Eugene Cole on April 25, 2018.
Lawyers for John Williams tried to suppress statements he made after police captured him, arguing those statements should not be allowed as evidence in his trial because he was beaten by police and withdrawing from drugs.
Deputy Chief Justice Robert E. Mullen ruled Friday, April 26, that Williams was not in a weakened condition because of his withdrawal symptoms to the point where his comments were not voluntary.
Mullen also found that the violence in the woods where Williams was found and apprehended was not inflicted to get him to confess. The judge said the punch Williams sustained from law enforcement was unrelated to a confession, and the officers who hit him were not even present at the Waterville Police Station where Williams made his confession.
The judge, however, will not allow a re-enactment of the shooting and statements made by Williams after about 90 minutes into his interrogation into the court. The judge said Williams was in an altered state because of his extreme fatigue. Police even said Williams was "nodding off or appeared drowsy" and "looked like a zombie." Williams allegedly told police he needed to sleep and even appeared to doze off during the confession.
"I know there's no happy ending," Williams said to detectives with his head hanging down around 46 minutes into his interrogation video. Judge Mullens said in the motion that "tragically, this statement is arguably the most accurate and undoubtedly the saddest statement made on the entire video of the Defendant with the detectives."
Verne Paradie, the lawyer representing John Williams, says he thinks the judge's ruling will ultimately be good for his client.