A three-page statement given to county investigators by a man now charged with killing his ex-wife’s boyfriend can be used when the case goes to trial next year, a judge ruled Wednesday.
James Henry Allen, 59, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Richard H. Carter, of Gray, on May 12, 2010. The shooting occurred at the mobile home in Fall Branch where Carter was living with Deborah Allen.
That was also the home the Allens shared for a time even though they were divorced.
Allen told investigators in his statement that he was angry that his ex-wife had moved Carter in and that Carter was sitting on his couch and sleeping in his bed.
After the shooting, which occurred around 11 that night, Allen fled and stayed out in the woods for two days before making a phone call to his daughter to say — according to investigators — that he wanted to turn himself in to police.
Allen also contends that he never “turned myself in,” that investigators never read the Miranda Warning to him and that Investigator Jeff Miller told him he didn’t need an attorney and he wasn’t under arrest.
“If I thought I was guilty and I thought I killed somebody I would have got an attorney,” Allen told Washington County Criminal Court Judge Robert Cupp in an exchange that nearly became heated.
“If you wanted a lawyer, why did you tell them all of this?” Cupp asked Allen while holding up the statement.
“Mr. Miller told me I didn’t need a lawyer, that I wasn’t under arrest,” Allen said.
Then, as Cupp started to make his ruling, Allen turned to Miller and said, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Miller.”
Cupp got angry at that point and ordered Allen to stay quiet.
Allen’s attorney, Assistant Public Defenders Bill Francisco, told Cupp he had other issues to present to the court concerning Allen’s mental status, but after the exchange between Allen and the judge “we’re not going to go forward with that.”
Francisco had a brief at-bench conversation with Cupp to explain his position on his client’s mental status, then Cupp cautioned Allen to listen to his attorneys.
“You have very good competent lawyers and I would hope you would listen to them. I’m just asking you to listen to them,” Cupp said.
“Yes, sir,” Allen said.
He is jailed under a $300,000 bond. Cupp set the trial for Feb. 5.