Bless me Father for I’ve sinned.
A Louisiana girl was discovered responsible of tried homicide after her confession to her pastor was used throughout her trial, the girl’s lawyer says — however a neighborhood judge wasn’t shopping for it.
Peggy Valentine, 44, was convicted by a jury on Monday of tried first-degree tried house Invasion (Battery) stemming from a May 2022 incident the place she was discovered breaking into the house of her fiancé’s different girlfriend and stabbing the girl throughout a combat.
Valentine’s lawyer claimed she was visiting the opposite girl amicably, who had not too long ago given start to a toddler with Valentine’s fiancé.
“When she came upon concerning the child, she went to the home with a relative and introduced the child some clothes,” lawyer David Belfield III stated, according to WAFB. “In her thoughts, they’re nonetheless making an attempt to work the connection out.”
Prosecutors argued that Valentine had damaged into the house and attacked the girl whereas she was sleeping in mattress, in response to WAFB, however her lawyer denies that concept.
“There was no signal of pressured entry, no doorways damaged, no home windows damaged. Somebody needed to open the door,” Belfield III stated in response to WAFB.
After the combat happened, Valentine referred to as her pastor, a Major with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, who stated she ought to converse with investigators.
Valentine voluntarily spoke with deputies as a result of she felt she had solely defended herself, Belfield stated, however requested to speak to the clergyman when she felt as if she was being interrogated.
“It was apparent that they had interrogated Peggy for a second. She was very, very distraught on the time. She stopped speaking to him, shut down and demanded to talk to her pastor,” stated Belfield.
Valentine opened as much as her pastor whereas a sheriff’s deputy remained within the room, allegedly admitting she went to the house to catch her fiancé with the opposite girl.
Belfield argued to the judge that the dialog Valentine had with the pastor must be stricken from the file due to “pastor privilege,” and added he by no means made clear to Valentine that he was performing as a regulation enforcement official and never a spiritual chief.
“Are you working as a pastor or a deputy? He by no means as soon as informed her, ‘Peggy, it’s important to watch out in what you say as a result of I’m working as a police officer. What you say might be used in opposition to you,’” stated Belfield.
He then argued that the opposite deputy wasn’t speculated to be within the room throughout the dialog.
“You wouldn’t sit within the room whereas she was speaking to her lawyer, then why would you sit within the room speaking to her pastor?”
Belfield additionally argued there are three parts to find out pastor privilege which is outlined below “clergy privilege” in US courts.
“The communication should be made both as a proper act of faith or as a matter of conscience; (2) it should be made to a priest in his capability as a non secular advisor or to his assistant in his official capability; and (3) the communication should be meant to be confidential)”
The judge dominated that as a result of the opposite deputy was within the room, the dialog couldn’t be categorized as confidential, after which allowed the jury to listen to the confession a number of instances.
“On first-degree homicide it’s important to show particular intent. She went over there to test if her man was there. There was no particular intent to homicide,” argued Belfield. “If you’ll be able to’t belief your pastor at the moment, who are you able to belief?”
Valentine is being held at Ascension Parish Jail awaiting for pre-sentencing listening to on Dec. 30 and might be sentenced in Feb. 2024.