(AP) A judge has thrown out an alleged admission by the man accused of capital murder in the shooting of a Manchester, N.H., police officer nearly two years ago.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen McGuire ruled that police violated Michael Addison’s rights by not immediately halting questioning when he said he wanted a lawyer.

In a 32-page ruling released Wednesday, McGuire wrote that Addison clearly asked for a lawyer and the two detectives with him were obligated to stop questioning him immediately. Instead, even though they understood Addison wanted a lawyer, they continued reviewing his statements until he waived his rights and spoke with them, McGuire wrote.

During the questioning that followed, police said Addison, 28, admitted he shot a gun over his shoulder while running away from Officer Michael Briggs on Oct. 16, 2006. Briggs, 35, was shot in the head and died the next day.

At the start of their sitdown with Addison, the detectives had asked him to read aloud a form that listed his rights. When Addison read the one about having a lawyer present with him during questioning, he said, “I would like that though.”

“You would like what?” said Detective Ryan Grant, according to the transcript.

“A lawyer,” Addison said. “That’s just what I was told.”

“Okay,” Grant said.

“I mean, to always have a lawyer,” Addison said.

McGuire wrote that Addison’s comments left no room for doubt.

“The defendant made two statements in short succession that are both unambiguous assertions of the right to counsel,” she said.

McGuire wrote that Grant and Detective Sean Leighton testified they thought Addison’s statement, “That’s just what I was told,” meant that other people had told him to get a lawyer, not that he necessarily wanted one. However, she wrote, Addison’s statement about the advice of others is simply an explanation of why he wanted a lawyer.

McGuire also noted that the detectives’ testimony at a recent hearing to suppress the confession and actions during Addison’s interview after he said he wanted a lawyer “demonstrate that they understood that the defendant invoked his right to counsel.”

The ruling was a big victory for Addison’s lawyers, who have filed dozens of motions to dismiss his case and bar the death penalty, some of which have been rejected and some of which are pending.

“We’re not intending to appeal the decision,” Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said. “We are planning to go forward with the trial in September and we’ll prove the case through other evidence.”

Jury selection for Addison has been scheduled for Sept. 22.


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