Judge to decide whether statement can be used in Kimberly Lucas case: Start of trial may be delayed

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jan 09, 2017

A decision has yet to be made whether key evidence in the Kimberly Lucas trial will be allowed in the courtroom.

At stake Monday, a recorded statement from Lucas shortly after investigators say she drowned her former partner’s daughter, and attempted to kill her son in 2014.

One of Lucas’ former attorneys, Heidi Perlet, says after Lucas was brought to the hospital her legal team told Lucas’ mother specifically what to do.

“We told her to speak with any law enforcement officers that were present at the hospital to advise them that Ms. Lucas had an attorney,” she says. “And she was invoking her right to remain silent.“

But Lucas’ defense team contends that the exact opposite happened.

The say a Jupiter Police Department detective recorded a statement Lucas gave in the car on the way to the jail without Lucas’ knowledge.

It’s a 30 minute ride that the detective admits took two hours.

The former attorney described Lucas’ demeanor when she finally got to see her in person.

“I don’t think she understood what was going on…or had an appreciation for where she was or what was happening,” Perlet says.

“She was nude in the cell, she was freezing, she was huddled in the corner. They put a robe on her to come out and meet with Mr. Shiner and I.”

State prosecutors maintain that the statement from Lucas wasn’t forced.

The judge has yet to rule on the statement.

If it’s suppressed, it could remove a key piece of evidence from the prosecution’s arsenal in a trial that’s set to get underway in just over two weeks.

As for the trial date – the back and forth over the death penalty in Florida may push the start of the trial back again – as they wait for state lawmakers to sort it out.

The other option is to continue with the trial – and then convene a second jury to rule on the death penalty if Lucas is convicted.

It’s been almost three years since Lucas was charged with the girl’s murder.