Reduced bond denied in heroin death

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
— A man accused of selling the heroin that killed another man will be allowed to try and keep the dead man's cell phone and a hypodermic needle from being used against him as evidence during his trial.

Meanwhile, David Givhan will remain in custody on $100,000 cash bond.

Givhan, 24, of Beloit is charged with felony first-degree reckless homicide. He is accused of selling heroin to Luc A. Marsh, 29, of Milton on March 31, 2009, in Beloit. Marsh later was found dead from an overdose in a bathroom at Edgerton Hospital, where he worked.

Givhan, who is defending himself, requested an evidentiary hearing as he tries to suppress evidence in the trial scheduled for December. Rock County Judge Richard Forbeck granted the motion. The hearing is scheduled Oct. 7.

Givhan said prosecutors should not be allowed to use Marsh's cell phone and the needle as evidence in trial.

Givhan said the phone could have been tampered with because police released it to Marsh's mother before taking it back into custody. He also has concerns about the chain of custody records kept for the needle, he said.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Sullivan said Marsh's mother gained ownership of the phone but did not have physical contact with it. Chain of custody arguments do not support suppression of evidence, Sullivan said.

Forbeck on Tuesday denied Givhan's request for a reduced bond. Givhan said he does not have a history of fleeing and could better prepare his defense if he were released on a signature bond.

Sullivan said Givhan's past police record makes it likely he would face a substantial sentence if found guilty of reckless homicide.

Forbeck agreed.

"If I was charged with homicide, the tendency would be to leave," Forbeck said.

Givhan has written several motions in his case including a motion to dismiss and a motion for disclosure of evidence. He is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 21.

In June, Givhan agreed to a reduced plea. Before sentencing was scheduled, he requested to withdraw from the agreement. Forbeck granted that request.

Last updated: 5:59 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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