(SALEM) – The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the murder conviction of 31-year-old Joshua Risinger, who was found guilty of intentionally setting fire to his own trailer in order to kill 62-year-old Jeffrey Givan, in March 2017. Givan was disabled and unable to get out of the burning trailer.
In January, Risinger was found guilty but mentally ill and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
The Court of Appeals ruled Risinger had his Miranda rights violated after police continued to ask questions after Risinger told them multiple times over the course of the interviews he didn’t want to talk anymore. Nonetheless, Risinger continued to answer questions and talk with police. Video footage of those interviews were shown in court.
The Appeals Court ruled Risinger’s statement was “an unequivocal invocation of his right to remain silent pursuant to Miranda, and the detectives’ continuation of questioning thereafter was a failure to scrupulously honor that right,” according to the Dec. 9 decision.
Risinger remained in custody at Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill, according to the Indiana Department of Correction. He is likely to be retried.
Risinger’s attorney, Stacy Uliana, said, “If an individual says he or she is done talking, the police cannot try to convince them otherwise. Law enforcement must respect the person’s rights and stop the interview.”