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040918-blm-loc-1mikesell

Brittney Mikesell smiles at her mother, Melody Justus, while making an appearance in McLean County court in April. A June 10 trial date was set Friday in her murder case. 

BLOOMINGTON — A judge has denied Brittney Mikesell's request to bar jurors from hearing her statements made to police after her boyfriend was fatally stabbed by a man in a December 2017 incident in a Bloomington mobile home park.

Mikesell, 23, of Bloomington faces felony murder charges in the death of her boyfriend Cullen Hedrick. Hedrick was stabbed by Rodney Daugherty, who was not charged in the stabbing that was deemed self-defense by police.

Under Illinois law, a person may be charged with murder if the death occurs during the commission of a forcible felony. According to police, Mikesell was armed with pepper spray and Hedrick was swinging a machete when they encountered Daugherty outside a mobile home in the Cardinal Ridge Mobile Home Park.

In his ruling denying Mikesell's claim that police violated her constitutional rights during questioning, Judge Casey Costigan found that Bloomington officers properly advised Mikesell of her right to an attorney as they started a second interview with her hours after the incident. 

During the initial interview with Mikesell, she was considered a potential witness and not a suspect, according to police testimony at a recent hearing. As police learned more about the conduct of Mikesell and Hedrick, police began to consider her a suspect.

A video recording of Mikesell's interview played in court shows her acknowledging her right to an attorney during questioning. Mikesell provided the same acknowledgement when she asked to speak with officers two days later, Costigan noted in his ruling.

At a hearing Wednesday, defense lawyer Jennifer Patton said investigators working with the public defender's office have not completed their work on Mikesell's case. 

Costigan set a Feb. 8 hearing when Mikesell's trial date is expected to be finalized.


Photos: 2018 McLean County jail mug shots

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Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

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