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Celis murder suspect asks judge to throw out indictment

Christopher Clements says prosecutors were unfair
Posted at 6:46 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 21:46:16-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - The man charged with kidnapping and killing 6 year old Isabel Celis and 14 year old Maribel Gonzales -- is urging a judge to throw out those charges.

Christopher Clements' lawyers say the indictment is unfair.

Christopher Clements attorneys filed a motion claiming when grand jurors indicted Clements, they did it because prosecutors overstated the evidence.

Grand Jury proceedings are not like a trial. Defense attorneys are usually not in a Grand Jury hearing. Prosecutors call witnesses and present evidence, then Grand Jurors decide if there's enough evidence to indict and send someone to trial.

In the case of Isabel Celis, key evidence against Christopher Clements includes the fact he knew how to lead investigators to her remains, and that soon after the little girl disappeared, Clements cell phone connected to a cell tower near where her body was found many years later.

Clements attorney says prosecutors did not fairly present evidence that showed police were suspicious of Celis father Sergio or other members of the Celis family, and that detectives found factors like a noisy window and an aggressive dog would have made it very hard for an intruder to enter the Celis house, kidnap the girl and escape undetected.

The disappearance and murder of 14 year old Maribel Gonzales ties to Isabel Celis and Clements because when Clements led detectives to Isabel Celis remains, they were near the remote site where Maribel Gonzales was found. Prosecutors told Grand Jurors a partial DNA match to Clement was found on Gonzales body.

Clements attorneys claim prosecutors exaggerated the strength of the DNA match and have little else to connect Clements to that girl's murder.

Even if the judge does throw out the murder and kidnapping counts, Clements will still face child pornography and burglary charges.