Colorado

Nov 15, 2010 6:30 PM by Greg Boyce

Walsenburg confession thrown out by State Supreme Court

DENVER (AP) - A divided Colorado Supreme Court ruled that confessions and cocaine found on a suspect after police broke bones in the man's face, pushed him to the ground and beat him with a baton cannot be used at trial.

A 4-3 opinion handed down by the state Supreme Court Monday found that police's actions were "wholly disproportionate" to the circumstance surrounding attempts to question Clovis Vigil about a potential drug deal in Walsenburg in July 2009. Small bags of cocaine found in Vigil's pocket by the arresting officers were also thrown out as evidence.

Justice Nathan Coats strongly disagreed with the majority's ruling, saying Vigil was legally obligated to cooperate with police during an investigatory stop. Two other justices disagreed on different grounds.

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