Jury won't hear what whiskey-drinking suspect told sheriff

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama jury won’t hear what a man charged with killing his ex-wife told a sheriff afterward, because the suspect was drinking whiskey and the sheriff supplied him with cups of ice.

A Morgan County Circuit Court judge ruled that Roger Stevens’ statement to authorities in 2015 won’t be admitted as evidence when the case goes to trial later this fall, The Decatur Daily reported.

Defense attorneys said in a court motion that prosecutors agreed the statements should be thrown out because the sheriff helped supply Stevens with alcohol.

“When you’re intoxicated and then the officers are giving you liquor, you can’t really say it’s a voluntary statement, that you didn’t get anything in return for it,” said Ron Smith, one of Stevens' defense attorneys.

Stevens is charged with capital murder in the Nov. 14, 2015, slaying of Kay Letson Stevens, who had divorced the suspect two days before she was shot and beaten to death outside the bakery she co-owned. Authorities soon found Stevens holed up in his tractor-trailer in a parking lot.

Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely and others talked their way into the cab, where they found Stevens drinking whiskey. It was Blakely who ordered officers to bring them cups and ice.

Blakely said the tactic was aimed at defusing a tense situation and bringing Stevens safely into custody.