Court throws out DeKalb murder defendant's confession

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday upheld a ruling to throw out a confession by a DeKalb County murder defendant who contended he was coerced by authorities.

The statement had been given by Patrick Lynch after he was arrested in Nash County, N.C., following a high-speed chase and a brief manhunt. Lynch, indicted in 2007 for the stabbing death of Kory Gore, said Nash County deputies beat him, stunned him with a taser, removed his clothes and denied him medical attention before he was interviewed by DeKalb detectives.

In a unanimous ruling written by Justice George Carley, the state Supreme Court upheld DeKalb Judge Linda Warren Hunter's decision to suppress Lynch's statement. Writing separately, Justice David Nahmias expressed frustration that neither Hunter nor prosecutors made enough of an effort during a pre-trial hearing to determine what actually happened. If they had, Nahmias wrote, the court would "know with confidence either that law enforcement officers engaged in serious misconduct or that a voluntary confession to murder will never be heard by a jury."