McVay Wants Murder Confession Thrown Out
by Jill Johnson
July 25, 2013 6:05 PM
It was in July of 2011, that 43-year-old James McVay pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder in the killing of 75-year-old Maybelle Schein in Sioux Falls. It will now be up to a jury to decide if Mcvay will receive life in prison or the death penalty.
But before he's sentenced, his defense wants statements mcvay made after his arrest thrown out. The two-day motions hearing began at 9 o'clock Thursday morning. At the hearing, lawyers on both sides interviewed witnesses and presented evidence, some of which. the defense wants suppressed because they say McVay was high at the time.
Prosecutors not only interviewed the officers who arrested McVay in Madison, Wis., but presented audio and video that was taken in the police car after he was arrested.
In it, he was read his miranda rights, and without being provoked, McVay shares graphic details with the officer. He tells the officer how walked away from the minimum security unit at the South Dakota State Penitentiary and how he stabbed Maybelle Schein several times. You can hear McVay telling the officer quote, 'I snuck in, slit her throat, and expletive took her car'. He told the officer, before killing Schein, he had consumed alcohol and was on PCP at the time. In the car, McVay told the officer, quote, 'That had nothing to do with me killing her. I did it because I wanted to.' He went on to say, 'Hopefully that will get me the death penalty right there. I don't want to plead insanity and all that expletive.' He also told the officer, that when he was arrested in Wisconsin he was on his way to kill the president in Washington, D.C.
All of this, plus testimony from the lawyer who was sent to talk to McVay when he had requested to talk to a Wisconsin reporter. The lawyer told the court on Thursday he had advised against McVay giving the interview. But in July of 2011, Mcvay went ahead with this:
McVay told the reporter, "I would do it again, and again and again, anything to take care of my mission."
The conversation he had with the reporter wasn't presented in the courtroom. But the defense asked what state of mind McVay was in when he asked for the interview. The lawyer told the courtroom that McVay's demeanor was consistent with clients who suffered from a psychotic state in the past. That's the another reason why, McVay's lawyers say, his statements should be thrown out.
At one point in the police car video that was shown Thursday, McVay went on a rant about the South Dakota Department of Corrections and how even though they knew his mental state and they allowed him to walk away. Each of the police officers who testified Thursday, both from Wisconsin and Sioux Falls, described McVay as intelligent and coherent when they talked to him.
The hearing is expected to continue Friday at 9 a.m.