Murder Suspect Surprisingly Admits to Crime

A man facing a possible death penalty for killing his ex-girlfriend's fiance in Sun Valley last year has sent the judge a hand-written confession to the crime.

Robert Lee McConnell offered a detailed description of the murder.

This is an unusual development, but it does come after McConnell had changed his plea to guilty but before the penalty phase of his trial.

And what McConnell - acting as his own attorney - appears to have done.is make the prosecution's job easier.

What has Deputy District Attorney Tom Barb shaking his head is a three-page handwritten note from Robert McConnell to District Judge Steve Kosach.

McConnell was charged with murdering 25-year-old Brian Pierce last year, then kidnapping and raping Pierce's girlfriend with whom he had previously been involved.

McConnell plead guilty to sexual assault, kidnapping and murder last month. He's scheduled to be sentenced on the assault and kidnapping charges July 10th. The penalty phase of his murder trial is set for late August.

The District Attorney's office is seeking the death penalty and McConnell's note would appear to help its case.

The note is in the form of a legal motion seeking to withdraw his earlier objection to robbery being included as an aggravating factor supporting the death penalty.

In neat handwriting and methodical prose, McConnell says now that he has accepted responsibility, saying it's only proper that he tell the entire truth.

He goes on to describe burglarizing Pierce's home, then waiting for him, confronting the Pierce, and telling him to throw down his wallet. Then, he says Pierce turned and ran. McConnell fired hitting him several times.

Finally, in support of the robbery charge he says he took $17 dollars, credit cards and driver's license from Pierce's wallet and fled.

The motion is signed and includes a request to the judge to send copies to the District Attorney's office.

Barb says he doesn't believe McConnell did anything in relation to the crime that was not thought out and planned . . . but he's not sure what to make of his latest move.

Remember McConnell is acting as his own attorney. He's dismissed those who were representing him earlier. This has now undone much of what they had accomplished on his behalf - including the dismissal of an earlier confession given after his arrest.

It sounds as if he's really asking for the death penalty, although he does not say that. He does describe his guilt in a very matter of fact manner.

Legally what he's seeking to do is clear the way for the prosecution to prove one of those aggravating factors that could result in the death penalty.


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