SNOW HILL – A Worcester
County Circuit Court judge last week denied a motion filed by defense attorneys
for the suspect in a West Ocean City
murder in April seeking to disqualify the entire Worcester County
A pre-trial hearing was
held last Wednesday to consider several motions in the case against accused
murderer Roberto Antonio Murillo, who remains behind bars after being charged
with the stabbing death of Cecilia Dea Parker, 56, in her West Ocean City residence on April 20. Murillo’s
defense attorneys in August filed a motion to disqualify the state’s attorney’s
office from prosecuting the case citing a conflict of interest caused when Assistant State’s Attorney Pam Correa acted as an
interpreter for Murillo in the hours after the crime was discovered.
According to the motion
to disqualify the state’s attorney’s office filed by defense attorneys E. Scott
Collins and Marc A. Zeve in August, the conflict arose when Correa acted as an
interpreter to assist investigators in the interview of Murillo, a Honduran
national who was identified as a suspect early on in the case.
“There is no question that information gleaned
from the assistant state’s attorney was shared with the entire State’s
Attorney’s Office,” the motion reads.
However, Circuit Court
Judge Theodore Eschenberg found there were no irregularities associated with
Correa participating in the interview as an interpreter because Murillo had not
yet been identified as a suspect, nor had he been charged with any crime at the
time of the interview.
Eschenberg did rule
favorably on other defense motions. After the early interview before he was
identified as a suspect, Murillo essentially confessed to the crime after being
taken into custody. However, it came to light last week there are significant
problems with the accuracy of the transcripts of that interview including
sections of the audio transcripts that did not match up with the written
transcripts or sections of the audio transcripts that appear to be missing
Because of the
irregularities in the two transcripts, Eschenberg set the prosecution team back
to the drawing board to correct the problems and come forward with an accurate
set of audio and written transcripts. For that reason, the judge continued the
defense’s motion to suppress the alleged confession and moved the hearing date
on the motion back to Oct. 1 or the day the trial was set to begin.