Defense evidence request denied in murder case

St. Joseph County Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman has ruled against a request to suppress evidence in the dismemberment case involving defendant Wade Allen.

During a 70-minute proceeding Friday, Stutesman went into lengthy detail about the extensive research he conducted to help reach his conclusion.

Allen’s attorney, David Marvin, had requested evidence a Sturgis Public Safety officer and then-director Geoff Smith uncovered at Allen’s apartment be dismissed. Marvin said the evidence was seized improperly and Allen’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated.

Allen, a 35-year-old Sturgis resident, is accused of murdering and dismembering Kelly-Jien Warner-Miller in May 2019.

Despite his ruling, Stutesman said there’s no question Sturgis Department of Public Safety personnel involved in the case were obviously not adequately trained in the role of searches and seizures.

Stutesman in February said authorities in effect coerced Allen to let them search his North Maple Street apartment. Officers found two coolers containing dismembered remains of 42-year-old Warner-Miller.

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