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Accused killer of Cpl. Eugene Cole is in court, trying to have his confession thrown out

Defendant John Williams was supposed to testify, but his attorney decided against it after witness testimony.

PORTLAND, Maine — The man accused of killing Somerset County Sheriff's Deputy Eugene Cole was back in court Monday.

The lawyer representing John Williams is trying to get confessions his client made to police thrown out.

Williams was supposed to testify during Monday's hearing, but that didn't happen.

It was last April when John Williams was arrested, after a four-day manhunt, and charged with the murder of Cpl. Eugene Cole.

At the time of his arrest, police say Williams confessed to the crime.

Williams' attorney, Verne Paradie, is trying to get a judge to throw out that confession -- one, he says, only happened because his client feared what police would do to him after he says he was beaten and coerced. 

Monday was the third and final day of the suppression hearing.

RELATED: Accused deputy killer in court to continue fight to have confession thrown out

Testifying Monday was Dr. Sarah Miller, a state forensic psychologist.

Dr. Miller believes Williams understood his Miranda rights.

But she pointed out several factors as to why it's plausible Williams discarded the Miranda warning.

Dr. Miller pointed to lack of sleep or quality sleep, lack of food and water, substance intoxication and withdrawal, stress and suicidal thinking, and fear of physical harm.

Dr. Miller also testified there's reason to doubt what Williams said to her during his evaluation -- about him being fearful of police.

"Any defendant who I evaluate would have reason to portray themselves in a particular light depending on how it might impact the case," Dr. Miller says.

John Williams was supposed to take the stand in his defense during this hearing, but Paradie changed his mind after Williams was evaluated by Dr. Miller. Paradie says what Williams was going to say on the stand is now in Dr. MiIller's impounded report. 

"He certainly understood his Miranda warning and was competent. Basically what Dr. Miller says is he wanted to avoid further beatings," Paradie says.

Whether Williams' confession is thrown out is now in the hands of the judge.





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