Lawyer: Police coerced confession

Published 2:21 pm Thursday, November 13, 2008

An attorney representing a former Petal teacher charged with having sex with a teenage student says police coerced his client to confess.

Attorney John M. Colette of Jackson has filed a motion to have Loni Marie Folks’ confession tossed out and the charge dismissed.

Folks, a former fifth-grade teacher at W.L. Smith Elementary, was arrested in January and charged with sexual battery of a 16-year-old foreign exchange student. She is scheduled to be tried Nov. 19 in Forrest County Circuit Court. If convicted, she faces up to 30 years in prison.

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Colette claims Petal Detective Gavin Guy and two other unidentified officers threatened to keep Folks detained if she did not confess.