The man accused of killing his girlfriend's 6-year-old in 2009 could be out of jail today.
Michael Patino plans to ask a judge to let him be released on bail. This comes shortly after Judge Judith Savage dismissed a mountain of evidence in the case because Cranston Police officers mishandled a cell phone at the murder scene, the judge ruled.
The evidence was thrown out in a ruling that derided members of the Cranston Police Department for seizing a cell phone loaded with incriminating text messages without a warrant and using that evidence during their interrogations of Patino after he was arrested.
Police allege Patino injured the boy, Marco Nieves, in several different ways including blows to his stomach. In the text messages, Patino allegedly asks another individual for advice and states that he caused the injuries that led to Neives' death.
The 190-page ruling (attached to this story) includes at-times scathing assertions that officers working the case stated in sworn affidavits a "troubling array of facts, that are intentionally inconsistent and otherwise riddled with inaccuracies."
Immediately after the ruling, Cranston Police Chief Marco Palombo Jr. and Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung issued individual statements that they were reviewing Judge Savage's decision, suggesting an appeal could be forthcoming.
Fung, in his statement, said he has "full confidence that the members of the Cranston Police Department are out there tonight doing their job to keep the citizens safe."
"That being said, I am still reviewing the judge’s decision and will determine what actions, if any, need to be taken with regard to the work of the specific officers referenced,” Fung said.
Additionally, the court ruled, the police department's use of the evidence resulted in securing warrants to search the Dyer Avenue apartment that Nieves lived with his mother, "further evidence of the continuing taint in its criminal investigation," Savage wrote. "no other information is provided in the affidavits themselves that would provide probably cause for the search of the contents of the cell phones."
We'll update this story after Patino's court appearance today.