Judge Rules on Word of Life Defendants' Motions

Warner Cable News, New York/March 7, 2016

By Cara Thomas

An Oneida County judge has denied motions made on behalf of two defendants in the Word of Life church beatings trial.

One motion was denied that would have separated Joseph Irwin's trial from his co-defendants and move it to another county. The other, filed on behalf of Word of Life Church Pastor Tiffanie Irwin, would have suppressed video or audio recordings of counseling sessions and confessions the police may have seized.

Joseph Irwin also claims his cell phone was seized by police illegally and made a motion to suppress any evidence found on the phone. There has been decision yet on that motion.

Tiffanie Irwin's defense is claiming they are protected by priest-penitent privilege. Joseph Irwin, her brother, made a similar motion. The judge denied both requests, saying the motions were not specific enough about what evidence they wanted suppressed, and why they believe this privilege applies.

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