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Local News

Attorney: Deputies violated murder defendant's Miranda rights

Anthony Francimore (left) and Elijah Watson
Anthony Francimore (left) and Elijah Watson

An attorney for one of two men charged with committing murder during an attempted robbery has requested his client’s statements be suppressed in the case because the police allegedly violated his Miranda rights.

Will County Assistant Public Defender Eric Berg argued in a court motion on Aug. 8 that Will County Sheriff’s deputies did not ask Anthony Francimore, 20, if he understood his Miranda rights and told him to sign the Miranda waiver instead of asking if he wished to waive his rights.

Berg argued the deputies accused Francimore of committing robbery without evidence of the crime taking place.

“The police tricked, coerced and cajoled defendant into making statements that they intend to misconstrue at trial,” Berg argued in his motion.

Francimore and Elijah Watson, 23, have been charged with murder and armed robbery in connection with 20-year-old Nathan Ballard’s death on Oct. 28. The Will County Sheriff’s Office said Watson fired several shots at Ballard from a moving vehicle.

Will County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Carole Cheney said any response by the state’s attorney’s office to the motion would be made in court.

Sheriff spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer said the sheriff’s office does not comment on pending cases.

Berg argued Francimore was subjected to an interrogation in police custody over a period of about 20 hours at the Joliet Police Department.

He said in his motion the police told Francimore that he “needed to talk to them and that it was not a big deal to do so,” which was against the requirements of Miranda.

Francimore’s case is scheduled for a hearing Sept. 9.

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