Judges: It’s unclear if accused waived rights

Clifton S. Sparkling’s statements to Jefferson City police cannot be used in Sparkling’s rape trial, a three-judge appeals court panel ruled Tuesday.

The eight-page opinion said Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem correctly blocked those statements from the case, because the state didn’t prove Sparkling waived his rights to keep silent or have an attorney during questioning.

Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson said Tuesday his office has 15 days to decide whether to appeal Tuesday’s decision.

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Sparkling, now 22, and another man — Gregory B. Vowels, now 21 — were charged in 2010 after a Holts Summit woman, then 22, told police both men had raped her at knifepoint on June 12, 2010, in an upstairs apartment in the 400 block of East Capitol Avenue.

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