Judge rules Daniel French's confession to investigators is admis - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Judge rules Daniel French's confession to investigators is admissible in court

(PHOTO: Provided) (PHOTO: Provided)
BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) -

Despite efforts of Daniel French's attorneys, a judge ruled Wednesday that French was read his Miranda rights and knowingly waved them before giving a taped confession during an interview with investigators last December.

"I was trying to choke her out. I didn't mean to kill her. TV makes it look so G***** easy," French said to investigators.

The judge ruled that the confession is admissible in court.

French, 56, who worked at the Monroe retirement facility where 86-year-old Barbara Howe resided, was arrested and charged in December with aggravated murder.

Documents state French made three calls the night of Oct. 28, 2012 to residents at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Complex stating he needed to repair their medical emergency alert systems. French planned to then enter homes “for the commission of robbery,” according to court documents.

Officials found Howe's body on Nov. 1, 2012 inside the trunk of her car.

French sat emotionless in the court room Wednesday as his attorneys argued he was depressed, suicidal and coerced by detectives into giving that statement but common pleas Judge Charles Pater ruled Daniel French was fully aware of what he was saying.

"Did he knowingly and intelligently and voluntarily give whatever information he gave in that setting and I determine that he did," said Judge Charles Pater.

In that confession, French says he only intended to rob Howe but once he realized he had killed her, he panicked and tried to destroy the evidence.  Even cutting Howe's hair, slicing her throat, stuffing her in the trunk of her own vehicle before dropping the car off in a Middletown parking lot.

French also says he saw Howe's ghost and apologized.

Right now, he remains on suicide watch at the Butler County Jail.

His trial is set to start October 19. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

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