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Court weighs uncle’s statement in birthday cake beating

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Piece of birthday cake

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The uncle of a 9-year-old Maryland boy who was fatally beaten over a missing piece of birthday cake is asking a judge to throw out his statement to police.

The hearing for 24-year-old Jacob Barajas ended Tuesday in Hagerstown with no immediate ruling. Barajas is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse stemming from Jack Garcia’s death last July.

Hagerstown Police Detective Anthony Fleegal testified Barajas was not considered a suspect when he told investigators he handcuffed Jack to a chair as punishment for stealing. Barajas told police Jack was then beaten by the mother’s boyfriend, Robert Wilson. Wilson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March.

Defense attorney Stephen Sacks contends the questioning of Barajas amounted to an interrogation, so Barajas should have been read his rights.

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