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The Daily Tar Heel

Judge to Rule on Edwards Evidence

A judge likely will decide today whether to accept a lawyer's motion to suppress evidence in Edwards' trial.

The hearing is set for 10 a.m. today at the Orange County Superior Court in Hillsborough. After the hearing, a judge will set a trial date.

Prosecuting attorney Jim Woodall said today's hearing would be a motions hearing where a judge will determine what to allow during the trial. "(Edwards') lawyer filed motions to suppress evidence that was gathered, and that's in almost every case of this type. Those motions are filed, and so that's what we're going to be hearing," he said.

Edwards' attorney, Steve Freedman, said he is seeking to have two pieces of evidence suppressed. "There's a motion to suppress the search on his automobile and a motion to suppress his statement," he said.

The statement, Freedman said, is the one Edwards gave to police the day of his arrest.

Freedman, who was appointed to take the case in January of last year, said he represents Edwards on all of his pending charges, which include armed robbery, burglary, sexual assault and rape.

"The only hearing that we're doing is on the assaults and the crimes that were associated with them," Woodall said.

Edwards, a former UNC employee, was first arrested Jan. 9, 2001.

Local officials linked him to two sexual assaults and one rape, both of which occurred in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area in late December 2000.

The first assault occurred Dec. 23, 2000, at Ridgehaven Townhomes, and the rape was reported at 1000 Smith Level Road on Dec. 26, 2000, according to police reports. Both occurred in Carrboro.

The second sexual assault occurred at an apartment on Hillsborough Street in Chapel Hill on Jan. 9, 2001. Edwards was arrested by the Carrboro Police Department shortly after the Chapel Hill police broadcasted a report of the incident.

On Feb. 28, Edwards will appear in the Orange County District Court in Hillsborough to be tried on crimes not directly tied to the sexual crimes.

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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