WARREN - Not long after Louis Mann walked into the interrogation room of the Warren Police Department, he went from blaming his father for his mother's death to admitting he killed both parents, according to video confession played for jurors Friday in the capital murder case.
In the video confession, he claims that as a youngster, he was sexually abused by his father, and that the day of the killings, his parents threatened to send him back to jail and to prevent him from seeing his children.
Mann, now 33, had been out of jail only four days when, sometime between 11 and 11:30 p.m. Sept. 30, 2011, during an argument, he grabbed a rope and strangled his mother, Frances, on the floor of her 1686 Jefferson St. S.W. home, according to the testimony.
A few moments later, when his father, Philip, rushed into the room with a .22-caliber rifle, Mann said he snatched it, threw it on a couch, and began beating the 59-year-old man with a red Maglite flashlight.
He then shot his father, he states in the video confession.
If convicted, Mann could face prison sentences of 25 years to life, 35 years to life or a death sentence. Defense attorneys already conceded Mann's guilt. Their strategy focuses on how to avert the death penalty, they told jurors on Thursday.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Raymond L. Smith
Louis Mann listens in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to audiotape of his Oct. 1, 2011, arrest.
Mann's tearful confession after his arrest was shown as part of a digital recording played to the jury of eight men and four women and three alternates during the second day of his capital murder trial.
Warren Police officer Michael Currington interviewed Mann after he was captured on Oct. 1, 2011, at the Capri Motel in Howland, with a woman later identified as Atara Brodus. When the police entered the room, both Mann and Brodus were sitting naked on opposite sides of the beds, Currington told jurors.
Currington described briefly talking to Brodus, and then going to the police city's station, where Mann already had been taken.
Police confiscated a yellow Cadillac that Mann had been driving, several new cell phones, a red sweater and new Addidas shoes, he said.
Earlier that day, Currington had gone to the crime scene, where he said he saw a kitchen that was in disarray, a body on the floor of what appeared to be the home's TV room and blood splattered over its walls.
After speaking to a few people in the neighborhood, Currington said it was evident that Louis Mann, the victims' son, was a suspect in their deaths.
Currington was on his way to Trumbull County Jail to speak to Tanya Mann, Louis' wife, when he received a call that Howland police spotted the car Louis was driving parked at the Capri Motel, 8033 E. Market St.
"We were told that someone fitting the description of Mann, and a black woman, were in Room 103," Currington said.
Initially during his interrogation, Mann said he had not seen his parents since early Sept. 29. They had been arguing. Louis states in the recording that his mom had been pushing him about getting a job and getting his life in order.
"I had three job possibilities when I got out of jail, but I could not make them because my van broke down," he states.
In the recording, Louis states that his father would take his side and his mother would get angry.
During the interrogation, Currington repeatedly told Mann it was important for him to tell the truth and tell him what happened.
"This isn't being recorded, is it?" Mann asked
"It doesn't have to be," Currington responded, but never cut off the recording device.
Mann initially painted a scenario in which he claims father killed his mother. He says his father jumped to his defense when his mother told him to get out of their house.
"My dad went crazy and went after my mom," he describes in the confession.
The couple struggled and his father strangled his mother. Mann then describes hitting his father to get him off of his mother. His father grabbed the.22-caliber rifle, which he took away from him and then shot him.
"I did it once, maybe twice," he states.
Mann claims he did not call police because he was scared due to the fact he had a criminal record.
Apparently realizing Currington was not believing the story, Mann asks for a pack of Black and Milds to smoke, which Currington left the room to get. He left the video equipment running.
While Currington was out of the room, Mann, crying, is recorded saying, "Oh my God, I killed my (expletive deleted) parents."
When the officer returned, Mann began telling a different story.
"I've been abused by my parents," he said. "I lost my virginity when I was 8 years old - with my dad," he said. "My mom ... did not do anything about it."
Mann says that on the night of their deaths, he arrived at the home with mother. His father already already was home.
"She said they were going to take my kids, talk to my parole officer and send me back to jail," Mann says. "I'm not a cold-blooded killer, but when you talk about taking my kids..."
Mann has a 7-year-old daughter who was living with his wife's parents.
"My mom made a remark about me straightening up," he says. "I told her it was easier said than done because he had a job and I have a disability."
He tells Currington that after listening to continued criticisms, he told his mother that if she was a man on the street, he would have punched her in the mouth. She grabbed a kitchen knife, and he responded by grabbing a rope and strangled her, he says.
His father, hearing the commotion rushed into the kitchen with the .22 rifle, pointing at him. Mann says that Phillip Mann swung the weapon at him.
Mann tearfully describes the next few moments as a blur. The years of pent-up anger were being released, he says.
When he left the house, Mann met up with a woman he met the day before.
The woman said she knew someone who would clean up the murder scene for a couple hundred dollars.
"I didn't want to know," he states in the confession. "Just because I did what I did doesn't mean I'm a bad person."
In the digital recording, Mann described returning to the Philip and Frances' home several times.