Judge suppresses video statement in Collazo capital murder case

“I was defending myself.”

“I was defending myself.”

This is how 53-year-old Joel Collazo, the man accused of killing his parents, described the events leading up to his arrest.

In a video interview with Detective Rey Ybarra Jr., Collazo is stopped before he explains what happened.

“Before you say anything, I will read you your rights,” Ybarra said.

Collazo then signs a waiver which indicates his understanding of his rights and that he chose to waive them at the time.

Collazo had two interviews with Brownsville police. His defense attorney, Edmund K. Cyganiewicz, attempted to suppress both statements from being admitted into evidence.

He was only partially successful in that endeavor.

The statement provided to Ybarra still stands, State District Judge Janet Leal of the 103rd Court ruled.

The reason, she explained, is because Collazo reinitiated the interview of his own volition.

“After Detective Ybarra says, ‘Well we’d just like to get your side,’ your client reinitiates the conversation before signing the waiver so I have to find that he voluntarily reinitiated at that point,” Leal said.

In a second interview with Detective Eduardo Reyes, however, Reyes indicates that a lawyer will be provided when no such thing took place.

Leal agreed to suppress that statement.

The prosecution requested the trial be postponed because some evidence was still not ready.

Leal agreed to reset the case for mid-August, either the 14th or the 21st.