SKOWHEGAN, Maine — The attorney for a Detroit man accused of beating his father to death last July argued Tuesday in Somerset County Superior Court that statements made by his client should be suppressed as evidence.
Angelo Licata, 34, pleaded not guilty last fall to killing his father, 63-year-old Alfred Licata Sr., on July 21, 2011. Angelo Licata faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
“Peter Barnett [Licata’s attorney] filed a motion to suppress various statements Licata made to police,” Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said Wednesday.
Benson said Licata’s attorney argued that Licata turned himself in to Waterville police and “was taking the Fifth, and that police should have honored his rights.”
Benson countered by saying that because Licata was not in custody and was free to leave, police did not have to read him his Miranda rights.
“[Pleading the Fifth] doesn’t mean anything if you’re not in custody. We argued that he wasn’t in custody [at the time],” said Benson.
Barnett also asked for another statement to be suppressed as evidence, according to Benson.
Licata later asked to speak with Maine State Police Detective Bryant Jacques at the Somerset County Jail in Madison, said Benson.
“He waived his rights when he gave his statement,” said Benson. “He initiated contact with Jacques. There was no constitutional violation.”
Barnett could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Superior Justice John Nivison has not yet made a ruling on the matter.
Authorities went to the home of Alfred Licata Sr. at 14 Ham Hill Road in Cambridge after his wife, Arlene, dialed 911 from a neighbor’s house on July 21.
According to a state police affidavit, Arlene Licata was upstairs in her two-story house when she heard banging and screaming on the first floor and subsequently saw “blood all over the kitchen,” the affidavit said. She went to the neighbor’s house to call police.
Somerset County sheriff’s deputies who were called to the scene discovered Alfred Licata’s body on his lawn. He appeared to have suffered blunt-force trauma to the head during the incident. Police have not said what was used as a weapon.
The affidavit filed by Jacques stated that Licata later went to a friend’s house in Waterville. He was crying and upset and told his friend that he killed his father.
The state’s motion for forensic evaluation stated that, according to members of Licata’s family, Angelo Licata “has a long history of mental illness, including Bipolar disorder. They further state that the defendant recently appeared to be hearing voices.”
The motion continued, “In an interview with the Maine State Police, the defendant claimed, as it relates to his motive for having caused the death of his father, that ‘God’ had told him to do it.”
Licata is scheduled to go on trial June 25.