- Joshua Sharpe The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Some statements Dijanelle Fowler gave to police after her baby died in a hot car shouldn’t be used in court, her attorney argued in a recent filing.
Charles Brant said his client, 25, was sedated in the hospital when she spoke with DeKalb County police on June 15, 2017. Thus, Brant argues, she couldn’t consent to waiving her Miranda rights in questioning about the death of 1-year-old Skylar Fowler.
The motion asks the court to toss “any and all statements, comments or purported admissions and or confessions” she may have made that day. It was filed in mid-December and hasn’t had a hearing yet.
The child died June 15 after police say her mother left her in a car outside a Lavista Road hair salon during a braiding appointment. Fowler, who is charged with second-degree murder, was reportedly inside the salon for five and a half hours.
The filing also attempts to suppress a recording the child’s father, Louis Williams II, took of the mother explaining what happened to the attorney during a meeting at the law office.
Brant argues that the statement should be protected by attorney-client privilege.
A detective testified in a previous hearing that Fowler also told Williams, apparently outside of the attorney’s presence, what happened to Skylar: she had left Skylar in the car, with the air conditioner running. By the time the appointment was over, the car had shut off and Skylar was dead.
Prosecutors have said temperatures rose to 129 degrees, the heat index more than 150, and that she told the stylist “no rush.”
After discovering Skylar in distress, the mom drove to Emory University Hospital and passed out in her car during attempts to call 911. Police traced the call and found the car, with the baby clearly dead from the summer heat and the mother suffering from what her attorney has asserted was a seizure.
Fowler was admitted to the hospital and spoke with detectives, giving conflicting accounts of what happened, even claiming the baby hadn’t been in the car at the salon. The attorney’s filing doesn’t say what sort of sedation she was under, but it says she was unable to speak when police came to see her the next day and instead wrote a statement.
Fowler remains in the DeKalb jail without bond.