Defendant in Conway killings allows secret recordings

Staff Writer

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) โ€” One of the defendants who's facing murder charges in the killing a Conway couple last month has waived his Sixth Amendment rights.

Hunter Drexler of Clinton turned 18 on Monday and was transferred from the juvenile center to the adult side of the Faulkner County Detention Center, the Log Cabin Democrat (http://bit.ly/1UUNA6d ) reported. Drexler has a "genuine concern" that "inmates may come forward with bogus claims of Hunter's so-called damaging confessions," his attorney, Patrick Benca, said in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Drexler and Justin Staton, 14, each face two counts of capital murder, aggravated robbery and abuse of a corpse in the July 21 shooting deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell. The couple was Staton's legal guardians.

On Tuesday, Drexler signed an order "allowing anyone โ€” jailers, inmates โ€” to secretly record him then use those tapes against him in court should he make (incriminating) statements," Benca said.

The order, which Benca said would be filed later on Tuesday, allows corrections officers and fellow inmates to record any conversation that they have with Drexler without his knowledge.

During the hearing, the judge also granted a motion giving the defense access to two vehicles associated with the case, as well as another motion requiring authorities to release their "rough notes" as part of discovery.

"The rough notes are a fresh representation of what they heard at the time," Benca said. "Oftentimes, those rough notes are dramatically different than typed notes presented later."

Benca already has received 1,100 pages of discovery. He said most of it relates to the Facebook accounts of Drexler, Staton and two teens who were arrested with Drexler in Texas but haven't been charged in the slayings.

Another pretrial hearing was scheduled for Oct. 22.

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