On May 25, Tristan Stahley allegedly confessed to stabbing
on-again-off-again girlfriend Julianne Siller to death, and led police to her
body along a Skippack walking trail.
This week, Stahley’s attorney petitioned the court to suppress the Skippack teen’s confession.
According to the Times Herald, Stahley’s attorney, Timothy J. Barton, filed papers to ask the judge to suppress any incriminating statements Stahley made on May 24-25, as they were “involuntary,” and the result of a “weak, psychiatrically ill and deficient mentality, particularly susceptible to the suggestion, threats and coercion by police,” according to court papers.
Barton stated that Stahley’s arrest was illegal and without probable cause; due to his age, experience, comprehension and the absence of an interested adult when the statements were made, Stahley did not knowingly waive his right against self-incrimination.
This is the second request from Barton in two weeks; he also requested that the trial be moved to juvenile court, where the focus of the case will be on rehabilitation, not punishment. A judge will hear the case, as opposed to a jury, and there is no “guilty” verdict; only “adjudicated delinquent” and the punishment can include placement in a rehabilitation or detention facility, or house arrest.
Stahley, formerly a Perkiomen Valley High School student, is facing charges of first- and third- degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime in connection with the incident, which occurred on the Skippack Trail near the Heckler Road entrance.
After allegedly killing Siller, he returned to his home on Rittenhouse Road and threatened to kill himself to his parents; police were called to the residence around 10:21 p.m. for the report of a domestic disturbance, during which Stahley’s father struggled to get prevent him from killing himself.
At that time, police said Stahley confessed to the killing and led police to Siller’s body.