A homicide suspect urinated into a Mountain Dew bottle in an interrogation room after police officers repeatedly ignored his restroom requests, according to Lycoming County Chief Public Defender Nicole J. Spring.
"The tactics of the police during the interview were strategically designed to coerce and cajole a confession," Spring wrote in a motion scheduled for arguments before Judge Marc F. Lovecchio next month.
Williamsport Bureau of Police Agents Jeremy Brown and Justin Snyder questioned I-keem D. Fogan, 22, of Williamsport, at city hall on Aug. 6.
Fogan is a suspect in the homicide of Rhonda McPeak, a store patron who was gunned down during a robbery at the Newberry Uni-Mart, 1944 W. Fourth St., on Aug. 4.
Related reading: Lycoming County DA seeks death penalty for alleged Uni-Mart shooter
Uni-Mart clerk JoBeth Wetzel also was shot during the robbery but underwent surgery and survived, court records state.
Fogan's interrogation lasted more than three hours and was recorded on video.
Spring alleges police violated Fogan's right to sanitation, right to counsel, right to remain silent, and his right to be secure from unreasonable searches.
Officers reportedly gave Fogan the Mountain Dew bottle at the beginning of the interview.
Approximately 23 minutes into the interview, he told officers he had nothing to say but they continued to question him, according to the motion.
Officers pushed Fogan to keep talking after he "clearly communicated that he wished to exercise his right to remain silent," Spring wrote.
He asked the officers to use the bathroom 33 minutes into the interview but they ignored his request, the motion states.
An hour and a half into the interview, Fogan asked again. The officers advised him to "give them a minute," according to Spring.
"He asked again at one hour and 36 minutes; the officer left the room, and the Defendant urinated into his Mountain Dew bottle," Spring wrote.
They returned, took Fogan to the restroom and continued the interview 18 minutes later, according to the motion.
Police reportedly continued to insist to Fogan that he'd committed the robbery/homicide and was caught on surveillance video in various locations around Newberry.
A residential surveillance camera reportedly recorded a shirtless black male holding a trash can on a porch in the 1000 block of Arch Street, the direction the suspect fled after the robbery.
Police asked Fogan why he'd be on video without a shirt.
"He said it was hot outside, and you could walk around without a shirt; he further denied running in the area," Spring wrote.
Even though Fogan did not confess, Spring asserts that his statement should be suppressed as involuntary.
At one point, the inquirers reportedly asked Fogan whether it was an accident or intentional.
They told him to show remorse or a jury would seem him as a "cold blooded killer," Spring wrote.
Fogan maintained his innocence throughout the questioning, shaking his head and saying "no."
Approximately three and a half hours into the interview, Agent Trent Peacock joined the inquirers, the motion states.
The detective reportedly reiterated to Fogan that he should come clean and that surely DNA would prove he did it.
Fogan commented that he realized they got his DNA from the Mountain Dew bottle, Spring wrote.
"Detective Peacock told him they did not need to do that, DNA is like fingerprints; they get it as part of his processing," the motion states.
In fact, obtaining a saliva sample requires a search warrant or valid consent. For consent to be valid, it must be free from deception.
Spring claims that Peacock's statement deceived Fogan into giving police a DNA swab of his cheek without a warrant.
She has asked the court to suppress the use of Fogan's DNA - a decision that still is pending.
Peacock did not return a voicemail request for comment.
Fogan also requested a change of venue for his trial.
"The defendant avers that it will be impossible to select a fair and impartial jury in Lycoming County by the time his case goes to trial," Spring wrote.
Interim District Attorney Kenneth Osokow previously moved to seek the death penalty for Fogan if he's convicted. It's uncertain whether or not the case will continue to proceed as a capital case under current DA Ryan C. Gardner, the motion indicates.
Spring's motion is scheduled for arguments before Judge Marc F. Lovecchio on Aug. 26.