CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Prosecutors and police say there were a number of reasons why the murder charge was reduced against Samad Wilson, including some witnesses admitting they lied about what happened.
The victim's mother can't get over a police officer not reading Wilson his rights before he confessed.
"He confessed. He confessed he was the shooter," mother Aneria Johnson said.
Johnson is not happy that the confession to the murder of her son by Wilson couldn't be used during Wilson's trial.
The suppression of the confession hampered prosecutors.
"It hampered it to the point where they had to offer a plea bargain," Johnson said.
Wilson pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter to the 2014 murder of Jeremy Milbry at the Stone Brook apartments.
He received a 20 to serve 15 year sentence.
Johnson is not happy at the reason the confession was thrown out.
Three teens were set to stand trial Tuesday on murder charges, but the day ended with one of them accepting a plea deal on a charge of voluntary manslaughter and charges against the other two being dropped.
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“His Miranda rights were not read to him,” Johnson said.
Prosecutors say Clayton County Detective B. Higgins did not read him his Miranda rights until an hour and a half after he confessed.
Police Chief Mike Register told Channel 2’s Tom Jones it was Higgins' first murder case.
“It was a series of mistakes,” Register said.
Register says Higgins had interviewed several voluntary witnesses about the murder.
He says Higgins thought Wilson was a witness when she interviewed him.
He confessed and she let him continue, when investigators now know from hindsight that Wilson should have been stopped when Higgins found out he was doing a confession.
The chief and the district attorney say that was just a small part of the reason the charge was reduced. %
Prosecutors say they had credibility issues and that some witnesses stories changed.
Still, Register says he understands Johnson's pain.
“And from chief register, I do apologize,” Register said. Samad Wilson, his Miranda warning until an hour and a half after Wilson had confessed to shooting the victim.
Cox Media Group