The case against a Canadian man, accused of trying to kidnap a 12-year-old Munising girl last November, continued in court Monday morning. But 41-year-old Mohamed El Fechtali was a no-show. Fechtali is charged with attempted kidnapping and enticing a child for immoral purposes.
Judge William Carmody heard arguments from the defense and prosecution on whether the suspect's confession was voluntary. Police say El Fechtali confessed to the attempted kidnapping during a police interview. El Fechtali was allowed to return to Canada when the judge threw out his confession. But the state court of appeals reversed the decision and sent the case back to Alger County Circuit Court. Fechtali's lawyer says her client felt he was coerced into confessing.
"It's probably going to be a lot worse for you. And at that point Mr. El Fechtali says, 'If he's going to hit me, I'll say everything, whatever she says is true,' and Chief Nelson does not do anything to reassure Mr. El Fachtali that he's not going to be hit," said Defense Attorney, Catherine Delhome.
"He never tells Chief Nelson what he wants to hear. Sure he tells him a few things which, combined with the victim's testimony, are marginally incriminating," said Alger County Prosecutor, Karen Bahrman.
The defense maintains El Fechtali was just asking the girl for directions and offered her a ride home. Judge Carmody will issue a written opinion on whether El Fechtali's confession was voluntary or coerced.