Clifton Terrell Jr.'s story may serve as a lesson to murder suspects everywhere: Resist the urge to call your momma.
When he was tried in San Francisco Superior Court for murdering the son of a state senator, the trial court excluded Terrell's confession to police. But the court allowed the prosecution to use a secretly recorded phone call Terrell made to his mother and three other relatives right after his interrogators left the room.
"He tried to grab the gun, and I pulled away and it went off," he told his mother.
The trial judge allowed a videotape and transcript of the call to be used at trial, and last week, the 1st District Court of Appeal backed him up in a published opinion. So, for now, Terrell's sentence to life without the possibility of parole stands firm.
Terrell's appellate attorney, San Francisco solo Victor Morse, said the defense plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.