Attorney not worried about "The First 48" confession - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Attorney not worried about "The First 48" confession

The confession of the man charged with killing six people inside a house on Lester Street last march was aired on national television Tuesday night, but his defense attorney believes it won't affect his case.

Charged with six counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, Jesse Dotson has appeared in court.  He pleaded guilty, but since then Memphians have heard nothing from Dotson, until A&E Television aired an episode of "The First 48" Tuesday night centering around the Lester Street murders.

"When he reached around the couch for the 12-guage, I just started shooting," Dotson told Memphis Police Lt. Toney Armstrong during his confession.

In the show, Dotson confessed the murders to Armstrong, and then his mother.

"They got stabbed," Dotson said about the children in the house.

"You did that?" his mother replied.

"Yes ma'am."

Gerald Skahan, Dotson's defense attorney, on Wednesday discredited the confession as only part of the story.

"I know Mr. Dotson was up there an extensive number of hours," Skahan said. "I think the whole video, as to what went on up there, would give the jury a much better look as to what actually happened then 15 or 20 seconds."

A few seconds- or a whole hour - Skahan says it's just a TV show, meant to entertain and attract viewers.

"It's edited. It's cleaned up. I mean juries are smarter than TV shows. Juries are instructed to listen to what they hear in court and consider only that," he said.

Skahan said none of what aired Tuesday night will affect what happens in court.  A Memphis police spokesperson agreed, saying in four years of work with "The First 48," not one has the judicial process been affected by the show.

Wednesday, the District Attorney's office declined comment on the show.

"Take it for what it is," Skahan said. "It's not trial.  We'll wait until we get in the courtroom to try the case."

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