Teen's confession can't be used in murder trial

April 8, 2008 3:42:23 PM PDT
A judge ruled Tuesday that a videotaped confession from one of those charged in the murder case of Chicago teenager Blair Holt can not be used in court. That teenaged suspect is accused of supplying the gun used in Holt's death.

He was shot and killed 11 months ago on a CTA bus on his way home from school. Holt's family was in the courtroom Tuesday.

The defense attorney for Kevin Jones brought to the judge a concern about Jones understanding his rights. The judge reviewed the record and found Jones did not understand his rights, and therefore, anything he said to police can not be used against him. This was a blow to the state's case, but the prosecution continues.

The parents of Blair Holt left court appearing calm after the latest turn of events.

"It is best to really listen, pay attention, and pretty much contain our emotions, and pay close attention and trust that the state's attorney, the judges and everybody involved will do a fair and impartial job," said Ronald Holt, Blair Holt's father.

Last May, Blair Holt turned to protect a friend from gunfire on a bus. The 16-year-old student at Julian High School was killed.

Michael Pace is charged with the murder, as is Kevin Jones. Jones is accused of supplying the gun to pace. Tuesday, the judge in Jones' case said Jones' did not understand his rights when being questioned by police -- meaning anything Jones said to officers will not be allowed as evidence.

Jones' mother left court with out comment on advice of her son's attorney.

Blair Holt's parents spoke about the case, and their efforts to deal with the legal process, as well as the ongoing issue of violence.

"We put on a face and go out every day to change things for other people. We don't have other children to do this for. This is the rest of the children that have to follow, that they might be safe," said Annette Nance-Holt, Blair Holt's mother.

"In the urban community in Chicago, to the college campuses and small town USA, churches, businesses, and no one is immune," said Ronald Holt.

Holt's parents say Blair would have been successful in life. Now they feel the need to make a difference in their son's memory.

"Absolutely no one deserves to lose their lives in a violent manner. Young or old, whatever. They don't deserve to lose their lives under those circumstances," said Ronald Holt.

"Ever since I held him the first day, I knew that he showed me love that I never felt before. And that's what parents really need to give. They don't get it, I don't think. Some of these parents, they just release the children like animals in the streets. That's why we're in the society the way it is now, I believe," said Annette Nance-Holt.

Holt's father is a police officer and his mother is a fire department captain. His mother says she has gotten support from other parents of slain children and from Blair's friends. She said on Christmas Day Blair's friends spent the day with her to make sure she wouldn't be alone.


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