Pomey Tries to Suppress Confession
Pomey’s lawyers push for separate trial from co-defendant Gomes
Pomey, who produced the HPT’s annual show last spring and Gomes, who assistant-directed HPT’s Man and Woman of the Year awards last year, pled “not guilty” to felony larceny charges this spring for allegedly stealing the funds from HPT from March 2000 to June 2001.
Although Gomes’ lawyers did not file any motions, Pomey’s filing on Wednesday provided the first clues to the defenses that the two will use in court.
Pomey will allege that Gomes was responsible for the thefts; while Gomes will assert that “Pomey benefited to a great[er] extent from the alleged thefts than the amount she returned to Hasty Pudding Theatricals.”
The filings also included Gomes’ handwritten admission and a cashiers check sent to the Pudding on Jan. 17 in the amount of $23,427.15 from Pomey’s father, Albert H. Pomey, to repay the money she allegedly took.
The suppression motion, filed by Pomey lawyer Michael DeMarco, contests that Pomey did not understand that she waived her Fifth Amendment rights during questioning last fall by HUPD Detective Sgt. Richard Mederos in regards to the case—thus making the statement inadmissible in court.
In the supporting April 30 affidavit, Pomey said that when Mederos asked her to sign a piece of paper at the beginning of her questioning on Sept. 24, she “did not understand” that the paper was a waiver of her constitutional rights.
In her affidavit, Pomey also says that she was not aware that she was under investigation when she met with police on Sept. 24.
“I was lead [sic] to believe the interview only concerned potential charges against Randy Gomes,” she says in the affidavit.
“I did not ask for a lawyer because I did not understand I could ask for a lawyer. I was extremely nervous, so much so that it was hard for me to understand exactly what was going on.”
Pomey also says that the police “intimidated” and “continuously taunted” her.
“I did not understand that I could simply refuse to talk,” she says.
The indictment against them alleges that Pomey admitted to her role in the thefts during the interview.
Pomey says in the affidavit that it wasn’t until half-way through the hour-long interview that Mederos told her she was under investigation by the police.
“I was extremely distraught and began crying during the interview and tried to explain to the police that I was ‘not a bad person and did not intend to steal any money,’” she says in the affidavit.
While HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano said he could not comment on the specifics of the case, he said that it was not unusual for a defense attorney to attempt to suppress a client’s statement.
“The filing of this motion is a usual defense attorney tactic any time there is a confession made,” Catalano said. “We are confident that the evidence will speak for itself opposed to the defense attorney’s tactic.”
Neither Gomes’ lawyer nor DeMarco could be reached for comment yesterday.
Pomey’s second motion at the May 1 Middlesex Superior Court hearing requested that she and her co-defendant Gomes be tried separately.
In the motion, DeMarco lists four grounds for the severance, including that Pomey “will put forward a defense implicating Randy Gomes and asserting that he is principally to blame for the alleged theft.”
Pomey “planned to and did return any funds that she had obtained from Hasty Pudding, in the amount of $23,427.15.”
He calls these differing defenses of Pomey and Gomes “irreconcilable and mutually antagonistic.”
DeMarco also writes that Gomes’ written statement, “would inculpate” Pomey, would be “inadmissible hearsay” if the two were tried separately.
Gomes’ handwritten statement, dated Sept. 24, 2001, and released Wednesday, reads in full:
“I, Randy Jay Gomes, diverted funds from the Hasty Pudding Theatricals to accounts over which I had control, two of mine and one of Suzanne Pomey’s. I initially stole money to buy drugs, specifically crystal meth, and continued to divert out more as the situation escalated. I also used some of the money to buy some electronic equipment and to travel. I was never proud of what I did and hoped one day when I had beat the addiction and had a job I could pay the Pudding back.”
Of the $91,000 the two allegedly stole, Gomes received about $68,000 of that money and Pomey got nearly $23,000, according to prosecutors.
They allege that Pomey and Gomes used the money to support a “lavish lifestyle,” including Gomes drug habit of ectasty and crystal methamphetamine.
Last fall, HUPD confiscated from Gomes’ room a flat-screen television, 2 CD players, a DVD player, D.J. equipment and 91 DVD movies that were allegedly bought with the money.
Pomey used her share of the money for shopping trips, spa visits and a $500 cell phone, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
Pomey and Gomes’ are scheduled to appear in court again on June 11, when the motions will be heard.
—Staff writer Jenifer L. Steinhardt can be reached at email@example.com.