Chad Doerman wants confession to killing family thrown out

Posted at 5:39 PM, January 24, 2024 and last updated 9:04 PM, January 26, 2024

BATAVIA, Ohio (Scripps News Cincinnati) — The attorneys of Chad Doerman, the man accused of murdering his three sons, have filed a motion to suppress evidence, including an alleged confession, claiming deputies in the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office ignored Doerman’s request for a lawyer and interrogated him for three hours anyway.

Chad Doerman appears in court

Chad Doerman sits next to his attorney in court at a motions hearing on Nov. 20, 2023. (Scripps News Cincinnati)

Officials with the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office announced, not long after Doerman’s arrest, that he’d confessed to shooting 4-year-old Hunter, 7-year-old Clayton and 3-year-old Chase execution-style.

Despite this, Doerman pleaded not guilty in court on June 23.

Now, Doerman’s attorneys claim officers in the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office ignored his requests for council, coerced him during the interrogation and recorded sessions with medical professionals and his lawyers that should have been private.

The motion seeks to stop the state from being able to use statements made by Doerman in the interrogation during his trial. It also seeks to suppress any conversations or statements he made to medical professionals while officers were present.

READ MORE: Documents detail final moments before Chad Doerman allegedly executed his 3 sons

From the beginning of Doerman’s interactions with Clermont County sheriff’s deputies, his attorneys said his Miranda rights were violated, because deputies never had him sign a “constitutionally valid waiver of those rights.”

Instead, deputies only obtained a verbal affirmation from Doerman that his attorneys said was not an overt waiver.

After a detective read Doerman his Miranda rights, the motion says the detective asked if Doerman understood those rights.

“Mr. Doerman responds ‘yep’ and nods affirmatively,” reads the motion. “Mr. Doerman is never presented with a written copy of his rights.”

Then, five minutes after that, the motion says Doerman asked for a lawyer.

“I’ll wait for a lawyer,” said Doerman, according to the motion. “I really don’t know. Give me a couple of days and let me talk to a lawyer so I can get nice, good answers.”
Detective: “I understand. Do you have a lawyer?”
Doerman: “We have family lawyers.”
Detective: “Who is that? Is there somebody I can call?”
Doerman: “Keith Doerman.”
Detective: “Is he related to you?”
Doerman: “Yes.”
Detective: “How is Keith related to you?”
Doerman: “My dad. Ruby (sp) Franklin. She is in the CIA.”
Detective: “Is she a lawyer? Is Ruby a lawyer?”
Doerman: “She is in the CIA.”
Detective: “I know, I heard you say that but I didn’t know maybe if she was a CIA attorney or… but you said your dad is a lawyer?”
Doerman: “Mmm-hmm (negative). We have a family lawyer.”
Detective: “Alright. But you don’t know who that is?”
Doerman: “No.”

From there, the motion says the detective steps out of the room for roughly one and a half minutes. When he returns, the motion says the same detective resumed questioning Doerman, “as if he hadn’t just requested an attorney.”

Chad Doerman cries in court

Chad Doerman sheds a tear as he stands just inside the Clermont County Municipal courtroom for his bond hearing, Friday, June 16, 2023 in Batavia, Ohio. Doerman allegedly shot and killed his three young sons and wounded their mother at their Ohio home. (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

According to the motion, the detective continued questioning Doerman for 45 more minutes, when Doerman again mentioned a lawyer.

“Where’s a lawyer?” said Doerman, according to the documents.

Detective: “Laura?”
Doerman: “A lawyer.”
Detective: “I don’t know, you tell me.”

The motion says the interrogation of Doerman, in total, lasted three hours — during which he invoked his right to counsel at least twice.

“There are three issues with the interrogation of Chad Doerman,” reads the motion. “(A) the initial waiver, (B) Mr. Doerman’s requests for an attorney during the interrogation and (C) the coercive tactics used by the police.”

WATCH: Prosecutor: ‘My Goal is to Have This Man Executed’

The motion goes on to say that, given the circumstances — Doerman’s mental condition at the time and detectives’ disregard for his request for an attorney — Doerman’s confession cannot be considered voluntary.

The motion also alleges that, while Doerman met with a mental health liaison with the Clermont County Jail, sheriff’s deputies “actively made themselves present by entering Mr. Doerman’s jail cell with his health care providers for some of these privileged communications and recorded them.”

Those recordings, and more made by sheriff’s deputies during meetings between Doerman and a public defender, were made through the officers’ body-worn cameras, the motion says.

Ultimately, Doerman’s attorneys claim those officers violated his right to privacy by “inserting themselves into what should have been private, confidential discussions and recording them.”

As a result, the motion requests any statements Doerman made in those moments be suppressed, along with his statements made during his interrogation with the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office.

Doerman’s attorneys filed the motion on Jan. 12; the judge will make a decision on it in court on February 2.

In total, Doerman faces 21 separate charges connected to his alleged actions on June 15, 2023. He is charged with nine counts of aggravated murder, eight counts of kidnapping and four counts of felonious assault.

Doerman has been held in the Clermont County jail on a $20 million bond since his arrest.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Cincinnati, an E.W. Scripps Company.