The attorney for the Memphis basketball player charged with assault on a Bowling Green State University opponent has asked that any statements obtained by law enforcement be suppressed.
Steven Crossmock, who is defending Jamirah Shutes, on May 17 filed a motion to suppress his client’s statements as they were made after law enforcement violated her constitutional rights.
On March 23, following the Memphis vs. Bowling Green State University women’s basketball game, Shutes, who played for Memphis, allegedly punched a BGSU player in the face.
According to Bowling Green Municipal Court documents, Shutes was taken by an officer from the visiting locker room at the Stroh Center and moved into a storage room. The officer unlocked the room then stood in the doorway and began questioning Shutes.
“The only door to the outside world was being blocked by law enforcement agents. Ms. Shutes’ statements were not the product of free and deliberate choice, they were made via intimidation and coercion,” Crossmock wrote in his motion to suppress.
Shutes was being detained during a custodial interrogation and Crossmock asserts that incriminating statements made by Shutes during this time were illegally obtained.
“The officer at no point gave Ms. Shutes her Miranda warnings,” he wrote.
Crossmock indicated the state intended to introduce Shutes’ statements as evidence against her at trial.
“Anyone in police custody and accused of a crime, no matter how minor a crime, must be given Miranda warnings prior to interrogation,” Crossmock wrote.
Shutes has been charged with one count of assault, a first-degree misdemeanor, and entered a plea of not guilty on March 28.
She appeared in court April 24 and was given an own recognizance bond with the conditions she not have direct or indirect contact with the alleged victim, and she not cause or threaten to cause physical or psychological harm to anyone.
Shutes could face up to 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine, according to Bowling Green City Prosecutor Alyssa Blackburn.
The punch happened as the teams walked toward center court following Bowling Green’s 73-60 win.
Shutes stopped to talk with Falcons’ player Elissa Brett. After a short conversation, Shutes appeared to throw a punch at Brett’s face. Brett fell toward the scorer’s table and onto the sideline.
After the punch, Brett stayed on the ground for several minutes as her teammates huddled around, but when she got up, she was already beginning to show signs of swelling around her eye.
Crossmock stated Shutes had a constitutional right to remain silent and the state cannot compel her to be a witness against herself. He added the state cannot prove that any waiver was made to forgo her constitutional rights.
The hearing on the motion to suppress was set for July 17.