Court upholds Hillsboro man’s murder conviction

A gavel is shown in a U.S. courtroom (MGN online)
A gavel is shown in a U.S. courtroom (MGN online)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Delfino Hurtado-Navarrete slashed his girlfriend’s throat and tossed her body in a remote Oregon woodlot. He left without trying to bury her.

He then told friends he thought she went to a baby shower. He told television news crews he was looking for leads. A month later, Hurtado-Navarrete failed a polygraph on April 2, 2009. As a suspicious detective pressed him, Hurtado-Navarrete insisted that “people with guns and drugs” kidnapped her.

At several points, the detective told him that he was free to go, and that whatever statements he made could be used against him in court.

A day later, police found the body of Juana Rosales-Garcia. Hurtado-Navarrete denied involvement, but finally confessed, and a jury sentenced him to life in prison.

The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld that conviction on Wednesday, rejecting Hurtado-Navarrete’s assertion that he wasn’t read his rights before he confessed.

According to court filings, After Rosales-Garcia’s body was found, Hurtado-Navarrete called the detective to his house after Rosales-Garcia’s body was found.

Hillsboro detective Patrick Brady called a crying Hurtado-Navarrete “evil,” court filings state.

“With all your fake crying, and your fake lying … You’re the devil. I think you hurt her.”

Hurtado-Navarrete confessed to beating her.

At trial, he argued that he killed Rosales-Garcia in a paroxysm of rage. She was cheating on him, he said, and comments she made in his car pushed him over the edge. His attorneys asked for a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter.

Hurtado-Navarrete’s appellate attorneys argued that his confession should have been suppressed because Brady failed to read him his constitutional right against self-incrimination, commonly called a Miranda warning. Prosecutors responded that the circumstances of Hurtado-Navarette’s confession were not “custodial or compelling in nature,” and moreover that detectives had read him his rights repeatedly.

The appeals court agreed.

“Under the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person in defendant’s position, having been advised multiple times of his Miranda rights, would have had no reason to believe that those rights had changed,” appeals court judge Rick Knapp wrote in the opinion. “The detectives were therefore not required to re-advise defendant of his Miranda rights before questioning him on the morning of April 3.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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