Taped Phone Calls Banned from Mack Murder Trial

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - The judge in Darren Mack's pending murder trial has barred prosecutors from using tape-recorded conversations between Mack and the district attorney who was negotiating his surrender on charges he killed his wife and shot a judge.

However, in another ruling in Reno on Friday, Judge Douglas Herndon sided with the prosecutors and rejected a defense motion to throw out evidence police took from Mack's house after they entered it without a search warrant last June.

Mack's lawyers had argued that Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick did not have a court order necessary to allow the recording of his conversation with Mack while the former Reno pawn shop owner was on the run in Mexico after the killing.

Herndon agreed, ruling the calls cannot be used at trial. But he concluded the search of Mack's home was constitutional because the officers found blood outside the garage.

Mack allegedly had confessed to killing his wife, Charla Mack, last June on one of the tape recordings.

The former owner of a Reno pawn shop is scheduled to go to trial October first on charges of murder and attempted murder. He's also accused in the sniper shooting of Judge Chuck Weller, who was handling their pending divorce.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.