Judge Throws Out a Taped Police Statement in Waters Pre-Trial Hearing - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Judge Throws Out a Taped Police Statement in Waters Pre-Trial Hearing

Jan Waters Jan Waters
Alan Waters Alan Waters

She's accused of murdering her millionaire husband in Baton Rouge and Wednesday, her lawyers were claiming a big victory in court. However, the way Jan Waters tried to dodge our camera; you'd never know she was savoring any kind of victory. Alan Waters was shot to death in their $1.2 million White Oak home in May 2004. WAFB's Jim Shannon was inside Judge Mike Erwin's courtroom for some pre-trial motions where the judge actually threw out a taped police statement.

Judge Erwin granted, in part, a defense motion to throw out Jan Waters's initial statement to the sheriff's department. Erwin says the statement was collected in an unconstitutional manner. Prosecutors say it's no big deal. While defense attorneys walked out of the front door of district court, defendant Jan Waters bolted for the basement, trying to avoid 9NEWS cameras.

Waters is charged with murdering her ex-husband in an expensive neighborhood with expensive homes. In fact, prosecutors say she is spending her dead husband's money on her own defense. Lead prosecutor Brent Stockstill says, "You got a very wealthy woman who has three attorneys that create reasons to have court hearings." "Not so," says Waters's defense team. They claim the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office illegally interviewed Waters after her husband was killed. They say she was refused an attorney during a one-hour interrogation. Judge Mike Erwin agreed and threw out the statement.

Defense attorney Laurie White says, "I think this case is far from cut and dried. The police department did what was natural and easy: arrest the ex-wife. She was there, basically giving them information trying to find out who murdered her ex-husband and they arrested her." Stockstill says, "There's nothing on the statement, never intended to use it." East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Greg Phares says he does not dispute the judge's findings, but he adds that murder investigations occur in different phases. Sheriff Phares says, "There are different roles, if you will, if you're talking to someone you believe is a witness versus someone you believe is a suspect."

Stockstill, on the other hand, says the case against Waters was not weakened Wednesday, rather strengthened because Judge Erwin indicated he would accept the statements from the Waterses' two children, which implicate Jan. He says, "It's very encouraging that the judge said we can use the statements that the children gave to the police. That's one of the key elements in this case and the fact that she lied to police and had two hotel rooms and all of that is admissible." He then asks Jim Shannon, "Why are we going to skate around the issue? I mean, she killed their father."

Judge Erwin will watch the one hour, fifteen-minute statement from Waters. If any other evidence was obtained as a result of the interview, it could be thrown out. The trial date has been reset for December 3rd.

Reporter:  Jim Shannon, WAFB 9NEWS


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