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April 01, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, April 01, 2005

Scanlan's accomplices in court Scanlan's accomplices in court (April 01, 2005)

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Mark Forcum will rule this month on whether to suppress a police interview with one of four men allegedly involved in a 2002 fatal bank robbery in Burlingame and shooting a Mountain View police officer.

Defense attorneys for Amu Wynn, 28, and his alleged accomplices claim that statements made in a 2002 interview were elicited through improper promises and intimidation. Wynn, along with one of the investigating officers, testified before Forcum at a two-day hearing in February. Tuesday Forcum heard further argument from attorneys about why the statements should be suppressed.

Wynn, with alleged accomplices Sikai Telea, 28, Manny Liu, 28, and Wynn's cousin Seti Scanlan, 27, is accused of participating in an Oct. 11, 2002 Wells Fargo bank robbery and shooting that killed bank manager Alice Martel and seriously wounded another bank employee. The group was also allegedly involved in the attempted murder of four police officers and other armed robberies on the Peninsula.

Wynn was arrested on Nov. 1, 2002, after his alleged Wells Fargo accomplices and another man allegedly committed two simultaneous armed robberies in Mountain View.

When police arrived at the scene, the group then allegedly led police on a high-speed, gun-riddled chase that ended when the sport utility vehicle they rode in crashed in East Palo Alto. Mountain View police officer Cary Shueh was shot and injured during that time. The chase concluded when Wynn was thrown from the vehicle and suffered minor injuries.

Wynn testified in February that he wanted to go the hospital to have his injuries treated, but that Inspector John Minahan of the San Mateo County district attorney's office and Sgt. Chuck Castle of the Burlingame Police Department refused to allow the medical treatment until he gave a statement to police.

The investigators maintain that Wynn voluntarily spoke with them, even after invoking his right to an attorney and temporarily halting the interview.

The defense argued today that Wynn had been up for two days at the time of the interview and that he was in a weakened state of mind and concerned about his medical condition.

Forcum will view the tapes and make a final ruling on April 8. However, Forcum said that from the transcripts and portions of the interview he has seen, it does not appear that Wynn was coerced.

Wynn's trial is scheduled to begin on May 2. Telea's trial is scheduled to start April 4, and Liu's trial is slated to begin on June 6.

Scanlan, who killed Martel and was the alleged ringleader of the crimes, pleaded guilty to all charges. He was sentenced in September to nine life sentences plus 296 years in prison.
-- Bay City News

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