Fast will wait to learn if judge tosses statements

nalund@bradenton.comMay 22, 2009 

BRADENTON — Accused killer Thomas Fast will wait to learn if a judge will suppress statements he gave police while officers were investigating his stepmother’s disappearance in the summer of 2007.

Fast is scheduled for trial in early July on murder and robbery charges in connection to the death of his stepmother, Susan Fast.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Franklin Roberts, arguing that jurors should not hear statements his client made to sheriff’s detectives about his stepmother during a June 30, 2007, interview. He reportedly told a detective that time was not on his missing stepmother’s side. As of that date, her body had not been discovered.

Roberts claims detectives improperly interrogated Fast.

Following a hearing closed to the public and media Thursday, Circuit Judge Gilbert Smith Jr. reserved ruling on whether those statements will be tossed from trial.

Also on Thursday, Smith denied a motion written by Fast to dismiss Roberts as his attorney. Fast wanted to represent himself.

Smith told Fast on Thursday that he would be deprived of a fair trial if he were allowed to get rid of Roberts and represent himself at trial.

“You have a competent and talented attorney in Franklin Roberts,” Smith said.

Smith told Fast he was competent to stand trial but not competent to waive his right to an attorney. He encouraged Fast to work with Roberts and focus on his defense.

In his motion, Fast wrote he was framed by entities including the Russian mafia and a Russian intelligence service. His motion states that his stepmother was an active cartel member and that Roberts won’t contact the FBI or Drug Enforcement Administration for “relevant casework.”

During a hearing before Smith late last month, Fast claimed that Roberts refuses to investigate his claims.

His father and Susan Fast’s husband, Bruce Fast, has said his son suffers from hallucinations.

The 60-year-old woman was last seen June 29, 2007, when she returned home from the Bahamas. Her dismembered body was found in garbage bags July 25, 2007, in a storm drain next to a pond behind a Lakewood Ranch shopping plaza.

Shortly afterwards, a grand jury indicted Fast on first-degree and robbery charges.

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