Calvin Melvin is accused of lying to investigators about his dead baby boy, two times. Then Melvin told the truth, and for that he should get out of jail, his lawyer says.
“He may have started out saying he didn’t know anything, and then when the police started talking to him more, he speculated and came clean and said well maybe out in this yard something might have been done,” attorney Ed Hoeg said.
Hoeg was referring to the backyard of a Hallandale Beach house where Melvin’s family once lived. It’s the spot where police found remains in January, a year and a half after 5-month-old Dontrell Melvin was last seen in July 2011. The remains were identified as Dontrell’s earlier this month.
Melvin, 27, is charged with providing false information to police, while the boy’s mother, Brittney Sierra, 21, is accused of child neglect. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Melvin is being held at the Broward County Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale on $151,000 bond, while Sierra is at the facility in North Broward on $100,000 bond. Neither can afford to get out.
Investigators say Melvin lied in January when they questioned him about the baby's disappearance – first saying Dontrell was with his relatives, and then saying he was with Sierra's family.
Eventually Melvin led investigators to the spot behind the Hallandale house.
On Friday Melvin's attorney will argue in court that his client's lies didn't hamper the investigation and in essence did no harm.
“If you come clean during the same proceeding, during the same statement, and tell the truth to the police, you're not guilty of giving a false statement and that's what the motion is based on,” Hoeg said.