JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Defense attorneys for Ronnie Hyde, the Jacksonville Beach man charged with killing and dismembering a 16-year-old boy, filed a motion to suppress statements the alleged murderer made to investigators.
In addition, the defense is asking the judge to throw out all the evidence that officers found at Hyde's house and inside his car, saying it was seized without probable cause.
According to the State Attorney's Office, statements Hyde made to an FBI agent in March of 2017 were voluntary and not the result of intimidation or compulsion. Two hours into the conversation, Hyde seemingly asked for a lawyer after being told some of the incriminating evidence against him in the 1994 murder of Fred Laster.
The FBI agent left the room, but returned to wait with Hyde until a lawyer arrived. The State Attorney's Office says Hyde voluntarily reinitiated the conversation with the FBI agent.
According to a transcript, as the men sat, Hyde questioned the agent, "The entire family, I guess, knows that he's, his body has been found, he's dead?" Hyde said that was "shocking" for him to hear. Hyde then repeated things he'd said earlier about Laster having been seen at his house and in his car. Hyde then noted, "That's why I say it looks kind of bad. That's why I would, I would need to consult with an attorney."
During a hearing Wednesday afternoon, the undercover FBI agent testified in addition to a man who said Hyde sexually molested him while working as a youth counselor in the 1990s. The man testified that Hyde taught him how to become a counselor and began molesting him after showing him pornography as a 13-year-old.
Attorneys are bringing into question whether Hyde physically abducted Laster and also said there was some unknown DNA found on Laster’s remains.