Chad Doerman has pleaded not guilty to the June 2023 killings of his three sons Clayton, 7, Hunter, 4, and Chase, 3
Defense attorneys for an Ohio man accused of fatally shooting his three sons execution-style last summer and allegedly admitting to the killings shortly after his arrest believe authorities violated his constitutional rights by questioning him without a lawyer.
A motion to suppress evidence was filed by Chad Doerman’s attorneys in Clermont County court this month. They claim their client's request for a lawyer following his arrest on June 15, 2023, was rejected, and investigators from the Clermont County Sheriff's Office continued to question him for several hours, during which Doerman allegedly confessed to the killings, according to the court filing cited by WCPO-TV and Fox 19.
Doerman’s attorneys stated in the motion they want everything he said during his “entire interrogation” thrown out “because the Detectives violated Mr. Doerman’s constitutional rights from the outset,” Fox 19 reported.
According to WCPO-TV, the motion alleges that a detective read Doerman his Miranda rights and asked if he understood, to which Doerman responded "yep" and nodded yes.
“Mr. Doerman is never presented with a written copy of his rights,” his attorneys state in the motion, per the outlets. “The Detective never asks Mr. Doerman if he wants to waive those rights; he never asks Mr. Doerman to sign a waiver of those rights; he never obtains a constitutionally valid waiver of those rights.”
The motion further states that Doerman requested a lawyer minutes later and during the three hours of questioning that followed, his request was allegedly not mentioned again by investigators, according to the outlets.
Defense attorneys also accused authorities of inserting themselves “into what should have been private, confidential discussions between Mr. Doerman and his health care providers [and] coerced Mr. Doerman into submitting to their presence,” Fox 19 reported.
Doerman was indicted last summer on nine counts of aggravated murder, eight counts of kidnapping and four counts of assault in connection with the June 15, 2023, deaths of his three sons, according to the Associated Press, Fox 19, and WCPO Cincinnati.
Doerman allegedly lined up the boys — later identified as Clayton, 7, Hunter, 4, and Chase, 3 — and shot them execution-style, the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office previously claimed in a release.
Three minutes later, a driver in the area called police to report a young girl running down a road screaming that “her father was killing everyone,” the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies soon arrived at the Monroe Township home and allegedly found Doerman sitting on the steps with a rifle sitting next to him, Fox 19 reported, citing authorities. Body-camera footage obtained by Fox 19 showed Doerman being forced to the ground and handcuffed. When a deputy reportedly asked him what was going on, Doerman calmly replied, “Nothing.”
Authorities eventually located the three children who had been shot, laying in the yard, unresponsive. The boys were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
The children’s mother, who suffered a gunshot to her hand while trying to protect her sons, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, authorities said.
“He was their world, he was their guardian and he executed them in cold blood,” Clermont County prosecutor David Gast alleged to the AP at the time.
Clayton’s baseball coach previously told PEOPLE the three boys "were a little pack" who went everywhere together.
“They were always together,” Dwayne Kuhn said. “And at the ball fields, if we were playing a game, then everybody was there watching. The other two boys, his sister, mom, everybody was there watching him.”
"It's heartbreaking," Kuhn added. "These little guys were such a joy to be around and so much fun, all three of them. They were just amazing children.”
A hearing for the motion to suppress evidence is reportedly scheduled for Feb. 2.
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