LISBON. In Donald White's brief jury trial that began Tuesday morning, Circuit Judge Megan Bickerton denied a defense motion to dismiss a statement the then-hospitalized defendant made to lawmakers last week.
Defense attorney James Wise filed a motion to dismiss the case last week, arguing that the defendant was in custody and had not been informed of his rights against self-incrimination or his right to a lawyer before registering as an MP.
Wise also filed a motion to have the trial dismissed, which was also denied, citing that his client needed a specialized breathing system, which he did not have in jail at the time, and was in the hospital due to low oxygen levels.
Bickerton said he followed the developments and learned that White was released from the hospital on Friday and even spoke with the county jail superintendent, who made sure the equipment was in place.
White used an oxygen machine during the hearing and on the first day of the trial for aggravated murder, a third degree felony, two counts of refusing to stop after an accident, a second degree felony and another third degree felony. felony and possession of cocaine, a fifth degree felony.
White is accused of hitting Aidan Vollman with his truck, killing him, while the eighth grade boy from Columbia was followed by another boy on a bicycle on Route 164 on October 23, 2021. The truck, allegedly driven by White, fled. and was later found abandoned with injuries. The cocaine charge was filed on October 24, 2021, the day after the alleged attack.
Luke Skidmore, a deputy with the Washington Sheriff's Office, testified during the hearing that he was present in the hospital room with White and another deputy when White began talking about the incident.
When questioned by Assistant District Attorney Steve Iacovone, Skidmore said he was not involved in the case and did not question White. He was there to hold her. He said White had just started talking, so he turned on the recorder on his phone. He didn't tell White he was recording.
Weiss asked if White had regained consciousness during this time, but Skidmore said he was fully conscious. He didn't know what medicine he was taking. Bickerton asked if he was lying or sitting, and Skidmore said the bed was up. He also said he had his eyes open.
Bickerton concluded that the defendant made a spontaneous and unsolicited statement and did not demand a reading of the law.
He also denied a motion to dismiss the case's cocaine charge, saying the charge was unrelated to the previous plea about blood tests.
Early in the trial, Skidmore testified before the jury about an unsolicited statement from White, who said he believed the child had been hit by a white van and then a motorcycle.
Regarding the copy of the recorded statement, Wise asked if Skidmore had heard it and could confirm that it was the same recording. I haven't heard a copy. Yacovone then asked if he could check if he could hear some of the tape, to which Skidmore said yes.
When Iacovon asked the court to allow Skidmore to listen to the tape outside of the jury, Wise objected, and the two attorneys briefly spoke to the judge. Skidmore was allowed to listen to the tape and later confirmed it was the same tape. Recording is included in the trial version.