Joseph Cambron, 21 (Photograph: Metro Corrections)
Joseph Cambron, the man accused of killing a 12-yr-previous boy in Cherokee Park in 2014, has pleaded guilty to an amended charge for thirteen years in jail.
Originally charged with homicide, Cambron pleaded responsible late last week to a lesser charge of first-diploma manslaughter.
Citing a cause for the amended charge, prosecutors pointed to a current ruling from Circuit Decide Charles Cunningham that suppressed Cambron’s police interview.
Cambron, now 26, admitted throughout his police interrogation that he stabbed Ray Etheridge in Cherokee Park on Sept. 30, 2014.
Arrested shortly after the boy’s death, Cambron told police he stabbed the middle school student after the boy punched him in the face and stole his wallet.
“I didn’t mean to do it though,” Cambron said to police, according to a video of the interview. “Not one time did I think about killing him.”
Cambron has spent more than four years in the Louisville jail, awaiting trial in the case, which had been set for later this month.
In a ruling earlier this month, Cunningham granted a request from Cambron’s attorneys to ban prosecutors from using his confession tape at trial.
In January 2019, defense attorneys Michael Lemke and Amy Hannah filed a motion to suppress the statement on the basis of a “diluted” Miranda warning — in which police tell suspects of their constitutional right to remain silent and have an attorney — and continued questioning after he requested an attorney.
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Prosecutors argued Cambron himself chose to restart the interview by asking questions about the case.
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It was a very close call, Cunningham wrote, saying that police didn’t make a concerted effort to get Cambron to keep talking but that they also didn’t read him his Miranda rights for a second time after continuing questioning.
The judge called Cambron “far from the most savvy or worldly of suspects,” saying that detectives should have reviewed his rights with him again to play it safe.
He also pointed to Cambron’s own words as he signed the Miranda rights form that he didn’t understand it but thought he needed to sign it to acknowledge the form had been read to him.
Cunningham did, however, find that Cambron gave his statement willingly, and as such, his testimony could be used to impeach him at trial if he took the stand and gave testimony that differed from what he told police.
Still, Cambron signed the plea deal last week, also pleading guilty to tampering with evidence for disposing of the knife used in the killing.
Sentencing is set for June 21 before Cunningham, who will impose a final sentence.
Reporter Matthew Glowicki can be reached at 502-582-4989 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support strong local journalism by…