Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lindsey's confession can be used at trial in slaying of St. Petersburg officer

LARGO — The confession in which Nicholas Lindsey said "I just started shooting" at a St. Petersburg police officer can be used in the upcoming murder trial, a judge ruled Friday.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Thane Covert also reluctantly delayed the trial against the 16-year-old after a defense attorney said "there is no way that I can be prepared" for the previously scheduled Dec. 12 trial date.

It all stems from the night of Feb. 21, when veteran Officer David S. Crawford checked a report of a potential car thief near Eighth Street and Third Avenue S, not far from Tropicana Field. He was shot several times and killed.

Lindsey was brought in for questioning the next day. He was informed of his rights and eventually confessed that he was preparing to steal a car, then saw Crawford, and pointed a gun at him. The video-recorded confession captured him saying such things as "I thought it was on safety," and "I figured I had to do it because I don't want to die" and "Mom, Daddy, I'm sorry," according to a video recording released this week.

Lindsey's attorneys, Dyril Flanagan and Frank McDermott, had said there were reasons the confession should not be allowed in court.

But Covert referred to a two-day hearing about the matter, in which Lindsey's mother said she had asked officers for an attorney on the night Lindsey was interrogated, and prosecutors said she was fully aware of Lindsey's decision to talk to police without one, and even present at the time.

Covert ruled in favor of the prosecutors on Friday, saying the state's witnesses were "credible, trustworthy and reliable" in explaining the events of that night, and that Lindsey's mother was not.

Flanagan and McDermott had argued in their motion that Lindsey's parents had become "unwitting agents of law enforcement" because they urged him to talk to police, telling him about evidence police might have against him. They also suggested he might get more lenient treatment by talking to officers, by saying "Son, do you want to go home?" and similar remarks, the motion said.

All this violated established procedures that stem from the Supreme Court's Miranda warnings, the lawyers said in their motion.

Although Covert's ruling allows the confession to be used in the trial, he did rule out another conversation. Before Lindsey's Miranda warning was read to him that night, a sergeant noticed Lindsey's shoes looked strange and asked him about them. Lindsey said he was wearing his mother's shoes because he couldn't find his. That was potentially significant, because a Nike slip-on shoe had been found near the crime scene, and it matched a pair Lindsey owned.

Covert said on Friday that exchange could not be used in trial. But prosecutors previously had said they weren't going to bring it up.

Although Covert granted the defense motion to delay the trial, he didn't sound happy about it. "I'm surprised that there's so many loose ends" in the defense team's effort, he said.

Lindsey's mother, Deneen Sweat, who attended the hearing along with Lindsey's father, also named Nicholas, said she was pleased about the extra time before trial, but had no further comment.

Instead of having the trial on Dec. 12, Covert scheduled a pretrial hearing for that date, and said he would schedule follow-up hearings every three weeks or so after that. He said that's the approach he normally takes when cases are not progressing as quickly as they should.

Murder cases in Pinellas County routinely go to trial a couple of years after the murders themselves. The Dec. 12 date would have been less than 10 months after the shooting.

The February shooting of Crawford stunned St. Petersburg, especially coming just a month after the shootings of St. Petersburg Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Thomas Baitinger — the first St. Petersburg officers killed in the line of duty in 30 years.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at (727) 893-8232 or ckrueger@tampabay.com.

Lindsey's confession can be used at trial in slaying of St. Petersburg officer 12/02/11 [Last modified: Friday, December 2, 2011 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  2. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case

    Crime

    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
  5. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101