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State admits mother accused of leaving baby in dumpster not properly advised of Miranda rights

Prosecutors: Sousa not properly told Miranda rights
Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 17:35:49-05

Prosecutors admit investigators did not tell Rafaelle Sousa, the mother accused of leaving her newborn baby in a dumpster, that statements she made could be used against her at trial, according to a recent court filing.

Palm Beach County Sheriff deputies arrested Sousa, 35-years old, after a newborn baby was found inside a dumpster last May. She faces charges of attempted felony murder and child abuse and has plead not guilty. Sousa is from Brazil and only speaks Portuguese.

Sousa has asked a judge to toss her statements as evidence because investigators failed to advise her of her Miranda rights properly.

The filing says Sousa spoke with law enforcement officials inside her apartment, and repeatedly tried to talk with investigators before the Portuguese interpreter arrived.

After arriving, the Deputy who spoke Portuguese did not advise Sousa "that anything she said would be used against her in a court of law" before investigators questioned her, court records say.

Prosecutors argue it wasn't necessary to give Sousa her Miranda rights at the time.

"The Defendant was not in custody at the time of the questioning and therefore Miranda was not necessary," prosecutors write.

A motion hearing will take place Monday afternoon for a judge to decide on the matter.

WPTV will have a crew at the hearing and bring any updates both on-air and online as they become available.


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