Day two of trial for soldier accused of helping kill her husband
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. The second day of testimony in the Kemia Hassel trial ended on Tuesday.
Hassel is the soldier accused of plotting the death of her husband, Army Sergeant Tyrone Hassel III with another solder, Jeremy Cuellar, who police say was her lover at the time.
The state called 11 witnesses to the stand today on second day of trial.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the day was when almost an hour of Hassel’s confession tape was played, and the interrogator who performed the interview was on the stand.
Michigan State Police Detective Andrew Longuski interviewed the defendant in Lansing, Michigan on January 12, 2018.
Detective Longuski says that at first Hassel did deny her involvement in the murder of her husband, but later confessed when confronted by the detective.
In the statement that was video recorded, the soldier confessed that she did plan to murder her husband with her boyfriend Jeremy Cuellar and worked to carry out the crime over a four day span.
She also admitted that 400,000 dollars in life insurance from the Army was a motive.
But, the defense is saying that her statement is coerced.
The defense says Hassel endured hours of testimony before confessing, and a long drive to Lansing from Berrien County also took a toll on her.
The council claims that Detective Longuski manipulated and lied to her using advanced interrogation tactics that forced a confession.
“You said that Jeremy brainwashed her into thinking that he cared about her when he didn’t. Is that correct?” said Hassel’s attorney in court.
“Yes I did,” Longuski replied.
“You’re doing a version that of that as well though aren’t you?” Kessel said.
“Brainwashing?” the Detective denied the defense’s claim.
So far, 14 witnesses have been called to testify for the state.