Teen claims he was forced to confess

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – A teenager is suing the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department claiming he was forced into confessing to a crime he didn't commit.

About a year ago, a couple responding to an ad on Craigslist came to an apartment complex in Belleville, Illinois, to buy an IPhone. Instead authorities say they were ambushed by two guys, robbed and pistol whipped.

Treyvon Yates and a 16-year-old were charged with armed robbery. The lawsuit claims Yates, who has the mental capacity of a 9 or 10-year-old, was coerced into falsely confessing to the crime.

During the two hour interrogation, the lawsuit states the teenager sobbed uncontrollably, begged for his mother, and threatened to kill himself.

The state's attorney's office dropped the charges against Yates earlier this year. State's Attorney Brendan Kelly says it was because Yates' mental capacity impaired his ability to knowingly waive his constitutional rights, making his statement inadmissible.

He says it had nothing to do with the behavior of the sheriff's department investigators. A spokesman for the sheriff's department had no comment on the lawsuit.


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