Attorney in Suffolk murder case seeks to suppress evidence against David Newbeck
The defense for a man accused of murdering a North Amityville woman wants a judge to suppress key evidence in the case, including the discovery of the victim's body.
Suffolk County Court Judge John Toomey Jr. paused the trial of David Newbeck Friday to hold a daylong hearing on the defense request.
Newbeck, 36, of Massapequa, is charged with second-degree murder in the 2010 death of Mandy Jo Jenkins, 30. Prosecutors say he shot her at the apartment she shared with her boyfriend and dumped her body in Lindenhurst because she wouldn't withdraw an identity theft charge against his girlfriend.
Defense attorney William Keahon argued that prosecutors shouldn't be allowed to use the testimony of Brian Muhlhauser, 31, a friend of Newbeck, or anything police learned from him, including the location of Jenkins' body.
Keahon said police knew they couldn't talk to Newbeck because he'd invoked his right to an attorney, so they instead improperly enlisted Muhlhauser to get information from Newbeck.
Det. Thomas Walsh testified during the hearing that while the information gathered was considerable, he never directed Muhlhauser to do anything.
Prosecutors Jessica Spencer and Nancy Clifford testified that Muhlhauser's attorney called them after Jenkins disappeared, offering information in return for a deal on his client's pending charges in an unrelated case.
Walsh said that before any such deal could be negotiated, Muhlhauser called on his own and said Newbeck had confessed to him.
"I told Brian that he needed to contact his attorney," Walsh said during questioning by Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla. "I told him that David Newbeck had an attorney and that I was not permitted to ask or direct him to solicit any information from David Newbeck."
Nevertheless, Walsh said Muhlhauser kept calling, and told Walsh that Newbeck was preparing to move the body upstate. Finally on the night of Oct. 3, Muhlhauser called and said he was with Newbeck and they were getting ready to get the body. Detectives found Jenkins' body where Muhlhauser said it was.
Walsh said the only thing he asked Muhlhauser to do that night was to let him know where he was, so surveillance could be organized.
Toomey said he will rule on the issue Monday morning.