ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) – A 17-year-old is suing St. Clair County and seven sheriff’s officials for allegedly being forced to confess to an armed robbery.
Laura Nirider, attorney with the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, says Trevon Yates was questioned and accused of the crime until he was crying so hard he collapsed onto the floor.
Nirider says Yates has diminished cognitive ability, prayed and threatened to kill himself during the interrogation.
“The officers responded by threatening him, by calling him a thug, by saying he’d be treated as a thug unless he said he did this armed robbery,” she says.
A Belleville couple was robbed in a parking lot just over a year ago after they went to a parking lot to purchase an iPhone they’d seen on Craigslist.
Nirider says the officers not only threatened Yates with jail if he didn’t confess, they allegedly “spoon-fed him with information about the robbery.”
Trevon Yates wound up serving nine months in prison, but was released after the state’s attorney viewed the videotaped interrogation.
He is seeking unspecified damages.
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