Judge throws out confession in Montcalm County murder case

Posted at 11:44 AM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 11:44:25-04

SIDNEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- A Montcalm County judge has thrown out a man's confession in the murder case of Alan "Dale" Nelson, according to officials with Montcalm County District Court.

Alan Morse, 48, of Sidney Township is charged with killing the 80-year-old at Nelson's home in the 500 block of Nelson Drive on Nevins Lake.   Nelson was found shot to death at the home in late March.

Judge Donald Hemingsen granted a motion to suppress Morse's confession, ruling that it was obtained illegally and violated Morse's Fifth Amendment rights, according to District Court officials.

According to court documents, a Michigan State Police detective visited Morse in jail to take a DNA sample on May 12th. The detective gave Morse his Miranda rights specifically for the sample and told Morse he would not ask about the murder. But court documents show the investigator began to question him about the killing anyway.

Court records show the detective told Morse a confession would be his best "chance to show how remorseful he was." He also offered him a private meeting with his girlfriend if he admitted to the crime. Morse finally told the detective he wanted to apologize to the Nelson family. He confessed a few hours later.

However, Hemingson ruled that the detective failed to apply the Miranda rights to the murder discussion.

Morse was charged in July with open murder, felony murder, first and second-degree home invasion and two charges of felony firearms in the case. He was behind bars on unrelated charges of home invasion and possession of child pornography when the Montcalm County Prosecutor's Office issued charges in the Nevins Lake case.