LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — A lawyer for a woman accused of ransacking the New Hampshire grave of her father in search of his "real will" wants a judge to suppress her written statement to police that she dug it up "with respect" and he "would be OK with it."
Prosecutors allege Melanie Nash, 52, conspired with others to remove her father's remains from the Colebrook Village Cemetery in May. The vault of businessman Eddie Nash, who died in 2004, was found cracked with the casket opened and his remains searched through.
The Caledonian Record reports (http://bit.ly/1rQXpaC) Melanie Nash's lawyer, William Albrecht, filed a motion last month arguing statements made after her arrest and before she was advised of her Miranda rights should be excluded because they violate her right against self-incrimination.
Coos County Attorney John McCormick said Nash showed her "free will" in coming to police and waiving her Miranda rights.
Police believe the casket was pulled out after Melanie Nash commented about her father being buried with "the real will." A police affidavit said she didn't find a will, only a pack of cigarettes in her father's hand.
Nash told police she did not receive anything when her father died and had been thinking of digging up the grave for years to prove her sister, Susie Nash, "hid the will." Susie Nash has said there was only one will when her father's estate plan was done in 1995 and everyone involved knew about it.
In her June 11 written statement to police, Melanie Nash wrote that she met up with others to go to the cemetery to go dig up her father's grave. Four people have been indicted in the case.
She wrote: "All this was done for the right reasons and I know my father would be OK with it."
She ended her statement with: "What we all did was to dig up my father's coffin, Eddie Nash, looking for documents. We did it with respect."
Nash, who died of a heart attack at 68, started an equipment business in 1979 still run by his family. He's since been reburied.
Information from: The Caledonian-Record, http://www.caledonianrecord.com