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SD Supreme Court: Confession Allowed In Mitchell Murder

May 8, 2014, 8:37 AM by Ben Dunsmoor

SD Supreme Court: Confession Allowed In Mitchell Murder
Jasmine Guevara


The South Dakota Supreme Court says the confession of Maricela Diaz should be allowed in her trial for the 2009 murder of 16-year-old Jasmine Guevara.

In a ruling issued Thursday morning Justice Lori Wilbur writes that she believes Diaz, who was 15 years old at the time of the questioning, fully understood her rights before she confessed to her role in the 2009 murder outside of Mitchell.

Guevara was stabbed to death and then placed in the trunk of a car that was burned in a field on the Hanson and Davison County line in November 2009.

Chief Justice David Gilbertson, Justice Glen Severson and Justice Steven Zinter concurred with Wilbur’s decision to reverse a lower court ruling to not allow the confession during Diaz’s trial.

Read The Supreme Court Opinion

However, Justice John Konenkamp dissented saying that he doesn’t believe that Diaz, who had just turned 15 years old, fully understood her right to remain silent.

“Trickery and deception may perhaps have their place in seeking admissions from adult suspects, but not with children,” Konenkamp wrote.

Despite Konenkamp’s opinion the 4-1 decision means Diaz’s confession will be used during her upcoming trial.

Previous Coverage

September 30, 2013: Justices To Decide On Diaz Murder Confession

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