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Saturday, October 30, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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The Region

Boy's Confession Can't Be Used At Yakima Trial

Seattle Times News Services

YAKIMA - The confession of a 14-year-old boy cannot be used at his trial in the deaths of a Yakima County couple and their two children, a judge ruled yesterday.

Yakima County Superior Court Judge Heather Van Nuys barred Miguel Guitan's confession to a California police officer - made after he requested an attorney. But she said she would allow testimony from a juvenile officer who overheard a separate confession.

Gaitan of Granger, Yakima County, is charged with four counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the March beating and stabbing deaths of all four members of the Skelton family at their home in Outlook.

Gaitan is accused in the beating and stabbing deaths of Michael and Lynn Skelton, both 34, and Jason Skelton, 12, and Bryan Skelton, 6.

Joel Ramos, also 14, pleaded guilty to the same charges in August and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

The crimes were apparently committed to impress other members of a street gang, prosecutors have said.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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