A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that prosecutors in the upcoming murder trial of Paul Leon Jordan can use testimony by a police detective and a physician, who have stated at pretrial hearings that Jordan acknowledged killing a 3-year-old girl and her baby sitter.
The rulings by Judge Eugene Hamilton, over the fierce objections of Jordan's attorneys, wound up the pretrial arguments in the case, which is scheduled to go to trial later this week.
Jordan, a 47-year-old Northwest Washington man, is accused of the Jan. 24 stabbing deaths of 3-year-old Crystin Fletcher, the daughter of two District police officers, and her baby sitter, Cora Barnes, 56, who lived next door to Jordan at 4321 Second St. NW. Jordan has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Hamilton ruled Monday that substantial portions of key statements Jordan made to police -- statements that prosecutors have called "the heart of the case" -- could be used as evidence. The judge rejected arguments by the defense that Jordan was psychologically coerced into making the statements, including one on videotape, while experiencing serious symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Yesterday, Hamilton ruled that prosecutors also may use testimony by a physician at D.C. General Hospital, where Jordan was taken after his lengthy Feb. 14 police interrogation.
The doctor, Ildefonso Mas, testified that he asked Jordan "what he was charged for and he told me 'double homicide.' And I asked him if he did it or not and he said, 'Yes.' "
The defense has argued that Jordan was in "a dependent status" and spoke to the physician only to get cured. Jordan should have been warned, one of his attorneys argued, that the information could be used against him.
The judge also ruled that homicide Detective Joseph Schwartz could testify about a conversation he listened to between Jordan and Jordan's wife, Yvonne Walker, at the police station the night of Jordan's arrest.
Schwartz testified that Jordan told Walker "that he killed them" and related other details of the crime.