New developments in attempted murder charges against former Rutgers football playerPhoto by The Daily TargumIzaia Bullock, a former Rutgers football player, allegedly tried to kill his ex-girlfriend’s parents.
Evidence in a case alleging a former Rutgers football player attempt to kill his ex-girlfriend’s parents has been thrown out by a Middlesex County New Jersey Superior Court judge, according to an article on NJ Advance Media.
The former player, Izaia Bullock, and his attorney, Jonathan Petty, argued evidence in the probable-cause affidavit was not properly seized under Miranda Rights. The affidavit, written by a Rutgers police detective, stated Bullock “confided in a witness his plans to murder” and “confirmed his plan” in a recorded interview, according to the article.
He faces 10 to 20 years for each of the first degree counts and has rejected two plea deals, including one with a maximum sentence of six years, according to the article.
Bullock also signed a consent form to allow police to search his car where they found more evidence, according to the article.
Petty pushed to have the evidence seized from Bullock’s car and cell phone, as well as his statements to police suppressed, according to the article.
The Middlesex County assistant prosecutor Megan Kosovich argued Bullock “knew what his rights were,” and the then-22-year-old Bullock agreed to answer questions and give consent to searches. The judge, Pedro Jimenez, said since the search was warrantless, the prosecutors had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Bullock waived his Miranda Rights for a search.
“Clearly, it was a situation where anyone who was observing, objectively, would clearly feel he was in custody,” Jimenez said to the court, according to the article. “(The police officer) advises Mr. Bullock, he’s not under arrest, which really flies in the face of what you see. He may not be under arrest, but anybody who’s watching the video can clearly see that he’s in custody. What is very clear on the video is this: (the officer) Mirandizes Mr. Bullock but at no point does he do the follow-up of asking Mr. Bullock the next two most important questions. ‘Do you understand your rights and are you willing to waive your rights and answer our questions?'”
If the previous two questions are not answered, the evidence obtained must be suppressed, Jimenez continued. The judge then also scheduled a status conference for April 27, according to the article.
Bullock is allowed to remain free under home detention with electronic monitoring and has been ordered to avoid any contact with the alleged victims or the states’ witnesses, according to the article.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately say if it would appeal the decision, according to the article.
Bullock has been charged with and pled not guilty to two counts of attempted murder in the first degree, two counts of conspiracy in the first degree and one count of cyber harassment in the fourth degree, following a grand jury indictment, according to the article.
The ex-linebacker was first arrested in October 2018 at his teammate's apartment on Livingston campus, according to the article.
His lawyer feels the case cannot move forward due to the suppressed evidence, according to the article.
“I don’t know how the state can proffer a way forward with respect to a count like attempted murder,” Petty said, according to the article. “We might be left with some of the lesser charges to potentially resolve or go forward to trial with. But my client says (the alleged threat) was bluster.”