A taped police interview where a Bellefontaine mother allegedly confesses to killing her sons was shown in open court Tuesday for the first time since her arrest last year.
The video was shown in a Logan County Common Pleas Court as part of a hearing to consider the defense’s motion to throw out Brittany Pilkington’s alleged confession.
Pilkington, 24, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of her three sons over 13 months and faces the death penalty.
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The three Pilkington boys died within 13 months of each other. Infant Niall died in July 2014, 4-year-old Gavin Pilkington in April of last year, and then 3-month-old Noah four months later in August 2015.
Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark O’Connor reviewed Tuesday a two-hour long, video-taped interview with Pilkington at the Bellefontaine Police Division. It was recorded on Aug. 18, 2015, just hours after Noah’s death.
In the tape, she could be heard telling police she was sleeping with Niall in her bed and she woke up on top of him. She also could be heard saying she held a blanket over Gavin’s face.
A second interview at the Logan County Sheriff’s Office recorded the same day will be reviewed when the hearing resumes on Wednesday.
The tape should be excluded from the trial for several reasons, Pilkington’s lawyer Marc Triplett said.
Police pressured Pilkington into the confession, Triplett told the judge, and violated her 5th and 14th Amendment rights in the process.
“They knew her lack of mental acuity,” Triplett said.
Bellefontaine police followed the law advising Pilkington of what was happening at the police station during the interview, Assistant Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart said.
“It was not coerced,” he said.
The trial is scheduled to start Feb. 27, 2017.
The motion to exclude the taped interview is one of several the judge will decide on before the trial begins. Other motions from Pilkington’s lawyers include a request to remove the death penalty, to sever the charges and hold three separate trials, and to move the trial out of Logan County, according to court records.
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Brittany Pilkington’s husband, Joseph Pilkington, was charged with felony sexual battery and arrested in September 2015 for allegedly starting a sexual relationship with then Brittany Cummins while she was a minor and he was a step-father figure living in her home.
He pleaded guilty earlier this year to a lesser, misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition, according to Logan County court records. He must register as a Tier One sex offender for 15 years and he received no jail time as part of his sentencing.