By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia judge today ruled that the alleged confession of the accused “Kensington strangler” will be part of his decision process in the non-jury trial.

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Prior to hearing testimony, Judge Jeffery Mineheart ruled in a suppression hearing that the statements of 23-year-old suspect Antonio Rodriguez gave to homicide detectives will be allowed in the trial.

Defense lawyer William Bowe had challenged the admissibility of the alleged confession.  He contended that detectives should have had Rodriguez sign a waiver of his Fifth Amendment rights.

But Judge Minehart ruled that the oral Miranda warnings — about his right to remain silent and have a lawyer present — were adequate and that Rodriguez’s statements were voluntary (see previous stories).

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Once the trial started, police, crime scene unit investigators, detectives, and paramedics testified about how they discovered the bodies of three women who were strangled in various sections of Kensington over a six-week period in 2010.

The trial resumes Thursday with DNA evidence.  Prosecutors say Rodriguez’s DNA was found at the scene of all three murders.

 

Stay tuned to KYW Newsradio 1060 and CBSPhilly.com for updates on this story as they are received.

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