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Attorney: Suspect’s rights violated

BRADENTON — When Bradenton police arrested accused bank robber Obrian Hawks and read him his rights, he asked for an attorney and then refused to talk.

But as officers searched his clothing and took nail scrapings, Hawks changed his mind.

The substance of Hawks’ statements to police is at the core of a defense motion filed last week by his attorney, Chris Rigoli. He claims a jury should not hear those statements because his client’s Miranda rights were violated.

Hawks, 23, is set for trial in early June on bank robbery and other charges connected to an April 29 hold-up at the former First Priority bank branch in the 4700 block of Cortez Road.

Police say Hawks, his wife Takeshia King, 23, and Marschella Zidor, 18, drove from Orlando for the heist. Officers say the three can be seen robbing the bank on surveillance video.

Bank employees told police after the heist that three bank robbers fled in a gold Buick LeSabre.

Police spotted the car on Manatee Avenue West and chased it into Palmetto, where investigators say Hawks blew a tire and crashed the car into a metal pole outside Varnadore Sales in the 1700 block of Eighth Avenue West.

Hawks then reportedly tried to drag two women out of a nearby car but was unsuccessful as the women fought back.

Officers captured Hawks and Zidor at 19th Street West and Eighth Avenue West.

Detectives arrested King 11 hours later in Palmetto after residents reported to police that she was loitering in the street.

At the scene of Hawks’ arrest, Detective Michael Skoumal read him his rights and then transported him to the Bradenton Police Department. There, an FBI agent re-read Hawks his rights, and he invoked his right to remain silent and his right to an attorney, according to a police report.

A search warrant was prepared and presented by another officer at 5:15 p.m. in order to obtain nail scrapings, clothing and oral swabs, according to Rigoli’s motion. During the search, it states, Hawks “wished to speak to police.”

After the search was completed, officers reread Hawks his Miranda rights, reminded him that he had previously asked for a lawyer, then took a taped statement.

“The defendant was never released from custody from the moment he was arrested . . . never allowed to contact an attorney while he was in custody, and after he invoked his rights to remain silent,” Rigoli wrote in his motion. “His statements to law enforcement were obtained in violation of his federal and state constitutional rights and therefore, should be suppressed.”

Circuit Judge Diana Moreland will hear arguments from Rigoli and prosecutor Brian Iten on the motion and ultimately decide.

As of Wednesday, a hearing date had not been set. King and Zidor, charged with principal to armed robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm, are set for separate trials in late August.

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty to their charges and remained incarcerated Wednesday at the Manatee County jail.