FARMINGTON -- A defense attorney contends information obtained through recorded jail conversations between his client and his client's wife should be suppressed.
If the judge rules in favor of Michael Rivera, prosecutors will not have a case, said Deputy Davis County Attorney Steve Major.
Rivera was supposed to go to trial in December on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated robbery.
However, his attorney, Ronald Fujino, filed a motion Dec. 2 asking the judge to suppress all evidence Clearfield police and the Davis County Attorney's Office received from recorded conversations between Rivera and his wife, Amy Jean Spiers.
Those conversations were recorded while Spiers was incarcerated in Weber County Jail in August and September 2009.
"The phone calls, the words used in those phone calls, is what linked Mr. Rivera and brought these charges," Fujino said in the hearing.
"The state has no other evidence."
Rivera, 30, is one of three brothers facing charges in the Aug. 29, 2009, botched robbery and shooting of Anmol Ratton in his driveway in Clearfield.
Rivera, who is being held in Davis County Jail, is charged with first-degree felony aggravated robbery and second-degree felony aggravated assault.
A hearing was held Friday before 2nd District Judge John R. Morris.
Attorneys on both sides are expected to submit additional information in the next few weeks before Morris rules.
Major said police received enough evidence from Ramon Rivera, Michael's brother, to ask Weber County sheriff's officials to make copies of the recorded conversations between Spiers and her husband.
"Based on those conversations, Michael Rivera was arrested and charged," Major said. "If the recordings are suppressed, then we do not have enough evidence to go forward with the case."
Weber County Sheriff's Detective Gary Worthen testified Friday that all calls inmates make -- except those made to attorneys -- are recorded.
He said signs in both English and Spanish are posted above each phone in the day room and the booking area letting callers know that "all calls are subject to monitoring and recording with the exception of approved legal privileged calls."
When an inmate uses a phone, a recording comes on before the call begins, letting the inmate and the one being called know the conversation is recorded. The person receiving the call can either press "1" to accept the call or hang up, Worthen testified.
Worthen said copies of recorded phone calls are made upon request by law enforcement agencies and county attorney offices. Defense attorneys receive copies of recorded phone calls through the prosecutor's office.
In a preliminary hearing Feb. 6, 2010, Clearfield Detective Kyle Jeffries testified he got the recorded copies of phone calls made to Michael Rivera from Spiers, who was in Weber County Jail at the time of the shooting.
Michael Rivera told his wife in one of the calls, "This is real, real serious. I wasn't wearing gloves on my hand. I messed up. It was supposed to be easy," Jeffries testified.
Prosecutors say Daniel Rivera worked in the same store as Ratton and had counted the cash that was supposed to be in the bag Ratton had taken from the store to deposit.
When Ramon Rivera opened the bag, he saw it had trash inside it, not the cash; that is when he shot Ratton, prosecutors say.