Defendant gets second shot to suppress confession in Zachary firefighter’s killing

Defendant gets second shot to suppress confession in Zachary firefighter’s killing
Attorney’s representing a man accused of killing Zachary reserve officer Chris Lawton will get another chance to request a judge throw out a confession he made to investigators. (Source: EBRSO)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Attorney’s representing a man accused of killing Zachary reserve officer Chris Lawton will get another chance to request a judge throw out a confession he made to investigators.

A ruling from Louisiana’s Supreme Court cancels previous rulings which would have allowed the confession.

District Judge Beau Higginbotham originally presided over the case before recusing himself. At that hearing, Albert Franklin’s attorneys were put in a position where they had to prove why Franklin’s confession should be thrown out. Proper legal procedure dictates the opposite should happen, prosecutors have to prove why the confession should be allowed.

The Supreme Court ordered a district court to afford Franklin’s attorneys another opportunity to suppress the confession at a hearing. At that hearing, prosecutors must prove the confession is admissible.

Lawton and another officer were trying to serve Franklin with a felon in possession of a firearm warrant, and an assault with a firearm warrant for an incident in which he was accused of hitting his girlfriend in the face with a gun.

Franklin allegedly pinned Lawton with a U-Haul truck to a grocery cart receptacle while trying to flee. He pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge for the incident which will be going to trial.

Lawton was the first police officer in the history of Zachary’s department to be killed in the line of duty.

READ MORE: Honoring ‘double hero’ Christopher Lawton

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