ORANGE CITY, Iowa -- A judge has denied a defense motion to suppress statements Gregg Winterfeld made to authorities investigating a fatal May 9 shooting.
District Judge Patrick Tott ruled Friday that though Winterfeld was intoxicated that night, he continued to cooperate with sheriff's deputies after he was informed of his Miranda rights against self-incrimination.
"While the defendant never expressly stated that he waived his rights, his conduct by continuing to cooperate with the officers and responding to their questions after being advised of his rights, clearly implied his voluntary decision to waive those rights as shown by his behavior," Tott wrote in his decision, filed Friday in Sioux County District Court.
Defense attorney Brendan Kelly had said in his motion to suppress that because Winterfeld was intoxicated, his ability to knowingly and voluntarily consent to questioning after he was taken into custody was impaired.
Tott ruled that evidence presented at a July hearing showed that after Winterfeld was transported to the Hawarden Police Department for questioning, he was read his rights. It was clear, Tott said, that Winterfeld was alert and able to give meaningful answers to the deputies' questions.
Deputies who arrived at the scene found Wilson, 58, of Cleghorn, Iowa, dead inside the house. A woman inside the house at the time of the shooting was not harmed.
According to court documents, Winterfeld and Wilson were arguing when Winterfeld pulled a Ruger .22-caliber revolver on Wilson and shot him in the forehead.
The three in the house had been drinking beer and Black Velvet whisky throughout the day prior to the shooting, court documents said.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Winterfeld would face an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.
Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter
Get the latest in local public safety news with this weekly email.