Fate of tape of alleged Pilkington confession lies in judge’s hands

Defense lawyers want it thrown out as evidence in trial

It is up to a Logan County judge whether or not a video that shows Brittany Pilkington allegedly confessing to killing her three children will be used in trial.

After two days of testimony from both Logan County Prosecutors and Pilkington’s defense attorneys last week, both sides were given until today to file memorandums on the issue of whether a taped interview between Pilkington and Bellefontaine police should be used in trial.

A judge is expected to file his written decision in the next few weeks, according to Logan County Common Pleas Court records.

Brittany Pilkington, 24, of Bellefontaine has been charged with aggravated murder in the deaths of her three young sons over 13 months and faces the death penalty.

She’s pleaded not guilty in the case and has been in a secluded cell at the Logan County Jail for more than a year since her arrest on Aug. 18, 2015.

More than four hours of video of a Bellefontaine Police taped interview of Pilkington taken just hours after the death of her 3-month-old son Noah in August 2015 was played in court Tuesday and Wednesday during a motion to suppress hearing.

Pilkington’s lawyers claim her rights were violated in the interview and she didn’t understand the context of her discussion with police.

The tape appears to show the young mother crying and she can be heard telling police she smothered all three sons, covered their faces with blankets and “put pressure” on them for anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute.

Pilkington can also be heard telling detectives she used blankets over their faces so she didn’t have to see her sons while they died.

The three Pilkington boys died within 13 months of each other. Infant Niall died in July 2014, 4-year-old Gavin in April of last year, and then 3-month-old Noah four months later in August 2015.

Pilkington’s trial is scheduled to start Feb. 27, 2017.

The confession in the tape should be used in the trial, argued Logan County Assistant Prosecutor Eric Stewart, because police mirandized Pilkington and she voluntary submitted to the interviews.

Bellefontaine police began interviews with Pilkington as early as 6:20 a.m. on Aug. 18, according to police records, and the taped interviews ended that same day after 3:45 p.m.

In the taped police interview, Pilkington also can be heard telling them she suffered from depression after her pregnancies and had suicidal thoughts.

“I wish I would have did it to myself instead,” she can be heard telling police.

During the recording, she could be heard telling detectives she had been abused as a child and was afraid her sons would grow up to be abusers. She also told investigators she was jealous of the attention her husband gave the boys.

Her lawyers said Pilkington recanted her statements to police the day after she was arrested.

The motion to exclude the taped interview is one of several the judge will decide on before the trial begins. Other motions from Pilkington’s lawyers include a request to remove the death penalty, to sever the charges and hold three separate trials, and to move the trial out of Logan County, according to court records.

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