Janesville20.5°

Two motions filed in homicide case

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Ted Sullivan
October 7, 2009

The man accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend in the city's Fourth Ward neighborhood wants his interview with police thrown out at trial.


The attorneys for Kyle E. Hicke, 37, of 108 Forest Lake Drive, Milton, filed a motion to suppress his statements as evidence, claiming they were involuntary.


They also filed a motion for a change of venue, claiming Hicke can't get a fair trial in Rock County because of pretrial publicity.


Hicke is charged in Rock County Court with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless endangerment, possession of a firearm by a felon and attempting to flee or elude an officer.


He was arrested after the April 22 murder of Erica M. Ostenson, 25, of 412 1/2 S. Academy St., Janesville.


According to the motion to suppress:


A detective told Hicke after his arrest that Ostenson was in "stable" condition, even though the detective knew she was dead. Hicke then gave the detective a statement.


"Mr. Hicke asked several times about her condition, making it clear to (the detective) that his willingness to cooperate was contingent upon the knowledge that Ms. Ostenson was going to survive," the motion states.


Hicke admitted during the police interview that he had smoked a half-ounce of marijuana that morning. He also was in visible pain from injuries sustained in a car accident with police.


Hicke also didn't graduate from high school and was in special education classes for students with learning disabilities.


"His lack of sophistication as a defendant, combined with his mental and physical state at the time of questioning, allowed the police, through the use of deliberate misrepresentation, to overcome his ability to resist their questioning," the motion states.


According to the motion for a change of venue:


The Gazette published 11 articles, blogs or editorials in the newspaper and on www.gazettextra.com within 48 hours of Hicke's arrest. Other radio, television and newspaper outlets also carried stories.


"Simply put, there is a reasonable likelihood that the publicity in Mr. Hicke's case will make it impossible to have a trial in Rock County before an impartial jury," the motion states.


Numerous anonymous comments posted below stories on www.gazettextra.com also were widely disseminated.


"For each angry individual who posts a comment, countless others are reading and digesting them," the motion states. "Often these posts purport to have inside knowledge which would be inadmissible at trial, and which is often false in any event."


The judge is expected to rule on both motions at a future date.


Hicke remains in the Rock County Jail on $1 million cash bond.


If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.


Hicke is scheduled to be in court Nov. 18 for a motion hearing. A trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 11.



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