Judge hears arguments in Chad Doerman’s motion to throw out confession

Posted at 5:32 PM, February 21, 2024

BATAVIA, Ohio (Scripps News Cincinnati) — A Clermont County judge will soon have to decide whether any rights of Chad Doerman, accused of shooting his three young sons to death in the summer of 2023, were violated in the hours and days after his arrest.

Chad Doerman walks into court in a suit

Chad Doerman enters court for a hearing on Feb. 21, 2024. (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.

The attorneys of Chad Doerman filed a motion to suppress evidence, including his 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.

During a Wednesday morning hearing that stretched over four hours, Doerman’s attorneys and prosecutors questioned officers, deputies and medical professionals who came into contact with Doerman in the moments before and after his arrest.

The state maintains Doerman’s constitutional rights were upheld, but his defense attorneys argued his Miranda and HIPAA rights were violated.

Two of the first deputies to arrive at Doerman’s home on Laurel-Lindale Drive on June 15, 2023 were put on the stand to testify, both describing the moments depicted in body camera footage released shortly after the murders.

chad doerman arrest

This image from bodycam video shows the June 15 arrest of Chad Doerman. (WCPO)

The defense pointed out that, at some point, a detective arrived on scene who used aggressive language toward Doerman; both deputies confirmed having heard the detective’s comments.

“He asked if that was Mr. Doerman was in the back of the car,” said the deputy.

“OK. Are those the words he used?” said the prosecutor.

“I think he said ‘is that that motherf***** in the back of the car?'” said the deputy.

The second deputy testified that detective had also said deputies should shut the vehicle door “before I kill that motherf*****.”

That detective was later one of the officers involved in interrogating Doerman, though he was not called in to speak during the hearing.

A different detective, Mike Ross, did take the stand; he was the detective leading Doerman’s interrogation. Doerman’s defense attorneys specifically targeted Ross’ handling of Doerman’s Miranda rights at the beginning of the interrogation.

Doerman did not sign a printed waiver of his Miranda rights; Ross instead delivered the Miranda reading verbally, reading from a card, he said in court.

“You did not read all the Miranda rights on … your card, did you?” said one of Doerman’s attorneys.

“Word for word, no,” said Ross.

“Well, you left out some pretty important parts didn’t you?” said the attorney.

“No, I think I covered the important parts and he understood that he had the right to an attorney and that he had the right to an attorney if he could not afford one, those are the important parts,” said Ross.

“You did say ‘you have a right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions,’ but the part on the card goes on to say ‘and to have a lawyer with you during questioning,'” said the attorney. “You did not read that part, did you?”

The defense attorney points out that while Ross informed Doerman he would be provided an attorney if he could not afford one, he failed to read a portion of the card that says if Doerman could not afford one, one would be appointed before any questioning.

“I’m not a robot,” said Ross multiple times in response to questions about why he hadn’t just read the Miranda rights card in its entirety.

Ross said he already believed Doerman was willing to speak with him because earlier, before the Miranda rights were read, Doerman had already verbally and nonverbally said yes when asked if officers could speak with him.

Around five minutes later in the interview with Ross, Doerman brought up wanting to wait for a lawyer.

“I’ll wait for a lawyer,” said Doerman, according to the defense’s 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.”

Ross: “I understand. Do you have a lawyer?”

Doerman: “We have family lawyers.”

Ross: “Who is that? Is there somebody I can call?”

Doerman: “Keith Doerman.”

Ross: “Is he related to you?”

Doerman: “Yes.”

Ross: “How is Keith related to you?”

Doerman: “My dad. Ruby (sp) Franklin. She is in the CIA.”

Ross: “Is she a lawyer? Is Ruby a lawyer?”

Doerman: “She is in the CIA.”

Ross: “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?”