Defense attorney tries to suppress evidence

A week of questioning in the Brian Rooney case was wrapped up after the prosecution showed a videotape of an attempted polygraph test that Detective Twohig administered at the State Police Barracks in Williston. Brian Rooney, 37, of Richmond was named the main suspect after the disappearance and subsequent rape and murder of UVM student Michelle Gardner Quinn in October 2006. Rooney’s lawyer, David Sleigh wants certain evidence removed, including the nearly five hour videotape, claiming police ignored Rooney’s request for a lawyer. The videotape was secretly filmed at the police barracks in the interim period between the disappearance of Michelle Gardner Quinn and the discovery of her body in Richmond. The tape shows Rooney pacing back and forth in the interrogation room. The videotape also showed Rooney asking for a lawyer several times. “Rooney’s attorney, David Sleigh, has said there are 37 instances where the videotape shows police ignored Rooney’s request to speak with his lawyer. Sleigh wants the videotaped interrogation suppressed,” stated the Burlington Free Press. However, during the questioning of Detective Twohig by prosecution lawyer, Twohig identified a waiver form that Rooney had signed for the polygraph test. Twohig also told Rooney that if he felt uncomfortable being without his lawyer, he could put a note on the waiver, which he did. Twohig said that he was just trying to find Gardner Quinn alive. Twohig told Rooney numerous times that he was on his side and that he did not think he was a bad guy. The tape shows Twohig telling Rooney that he was trying to help him. The video also shows Rooney asking for his mother who was waiting for him outside. During the test, Rooney said that he did not abduct “Michelle Quinn”, whom Twohig explained was Michelle Gardner Quinn. Twohig said he was trying to “dissuade” Rooney from leaving the test. The prosecution also played a tape of Rooney discussing what he did the night that he ran into Michelle Gardner Quinn. “I’m an emotional wreck. They think I’m guilty and I’m not,” Rooney said. The detective also said that what Rooney told them has not been 100 percent accurate but explains that he wants to help him. The hearing will resume on Tuesday.