SOUTH PARIS — A Hartford man charged with murder is seeking to have a judge toss statements he made to police during a walk-though of the crime scene.

Rondon Athayde

Rondon Athayde, 48, is charged in the 2018 slaying of his girlfriend, Ana Cordeiro, 41. The couple have two young children.

At Athayde’s initial court appearance Dec. 14, 2018, Assistant Attorney General Robert Ellis said an autopsy was performed on Cordeiro the day before but a final report on the cause of death “may not be released until January.”

The Sun Journal has not obtained a copy of the report.

Justice William Stokes heard testimony and arguments on Athayde’s motion to suppress evidence Thursday in Oxford County Superior Court.

Athayde’s attorney, Clifford Strike of Portland, claimed his client had spent an “extraordinary amount of time” being interviewed by Maine State Police detectives for nearly eight hours throughout the morning of Dec. 13, 2018, after he called 911 to report the incident.


Police took him from his home at 62 Bear Mountain Road to the Oxford Police Department station where detectives questioned him for hours throughout the morning, then took him back to his home that afternoon to have him walk them through the crime scene, explaining what had happened.

During the morning questioning, Athayde told police he was feeling sick and faint, that he was tired and overwhelmed, Strike told Justice Stokes.

“Despite the particularly repeated assertions that he was feeling sick, no effort whatsoever was made to any kind of medical assistance to make sure that he was all right,” Strike said, adding Athayde was diabetic.

The only place for him to sleep was on the floor of the interview room, Strike said. Athayde had taken care of his young daughters the day before and had been awake since the 911 call, placed shortly before 1 a.m. that morning, Strike said.

“I suggest to the court that, under that scenario, by the time you get to the (so-called) walk-through, yes, he was cooperative. Was that voluntary? I suggest to the court it was not,” Strike said.

Assistant Attorney General Donald Macomber countered that detectives had offered Athayde food more than once and, although he complained about feeling sick, he never asked for medical assistance.


Athayde told police he was tired, but “never too tired that he did not want to participate,” Macomber said.

Detectives had read him his Miranda rights warning before the morning interviews and reminded him again of his rights before the 4:41 p.m. walk-through of the crime scene, Macomber said.

Under questioning on the witness stand Thursday, Maine State Police Detective Michael Chavez testified that Athayde was reminded before the walk-through that he could stop anytime, or not participate, “that his cooperation was entirely voluntary.”

During the walk-through, Athayde never said he wanted to stop, Chavez said.

Under Strike’s cross-examination, Chavez said Athayde appeared to have initially misunderstood the purpose of the walk-through. Chavez said he didn’t understand how Athayde could have “misconstrued” the reason for the return visit to his home.

After the walk-through, Athayde told detectives he had been treated fairly, said Maine State Police Herbert Leighton, who testified Thursday he had been on the scene during the afternoon interview at Athayde’s home.


Justice Stokes said he would review the tapes from the police interviews and read written arguments before reaching a decision on the suppression motion, likely in mid-September or later.

Police said the couple were from Brazil.

A Portuguese interpreter was standing by during Thursday’s hearing in case Athayde had difficulty understanding English terms used in the courtroom.

The Bear Mountain Road home was owned by Armand Rowe of Turner, who had been renting it to Cordeiro and Athayde on a rent-to-own basis since October 2016.

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