Judge Grants Motion to Suppress Statements Karl Pugh Made to Police

Judge Ronna Beck granted a motion Tuesday to suppress the statements made by Karl Pugh to detectives while being interrogated for the murder of 27-year-old Quentin Ragland.

Officers arrested Pugh, 30, while he was running from the 800 block of Southern Avenue Southeast, moments after they say he shot Ragland at close range in the face Sept. 20, 2011.

According to arrest documents, Pugh initially invoked his Miranda rights, but later began speaking freely to detectives.

During interrogation, Pugh told detectives that he and Ragland had been smoking PCP together before engaging in a tussle inside Ragland’s apartment. Ragland then retrieved a rust colored revolver, and the two men engaged in a second tussle outside of the apartment, Pugh said.

Pugh wrestled the gun away from Ragland and shot him in the face, he told detectives. Pugh then fled the scene and tossed the gun underneath a vehicle in a nearby parking lot before being apprehended by MPD who were patrolling the area.

Ragland died from a single close-range gunshot wound to his left eye.

Pugh’s defense attorney, Jason Downs, argued in his motion that Pugh was “suffering from PCP intoxication at the time of his interrogation, which makes it less probable that Pugh knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his rights.”

Downs further argued that detectives purposely misled Pugh into thinking that they were there to help him.

According to the motion to suppress statements, Detective Delauder told Pugh, “I need you to come one hundred percent clean, or I can’t help you, all right? It looks better when I go to a judge in the morning and I say, ‘Hey look, the man made a mistake.’ I’m here to help you, but if you don’t want to help yourself, then shame on you.”

Downs argued Detective Fultz compounded the problem when he told Pugh, “Give yourself an opportunity, okay? Don’t ever shut the door and don’t ever burn bridges,” according to documents in the case.

“The totality of the circumstances in this case shows the detectives, at a minimum, suggested Mr. Pugh would receive harsher treatment by a judge if he did not waive his Miranda rights,” Downs wrote in the motion.

The objectives of Miranda, Downs continued, is “to alert the accused he is not in the presence of persons acting solely in his interest.” The statements by detectives “blurred” that objective, Downs wrote.

The trial against Pugh is scheduled to begin February 4.

Charging documents and the motion to suppress statements is below.

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