Judge says Ohio dad's confession to killing 3 young sons cannot be used in court

The statement from an Ohio man, who confessed to police that he killed his family, can no longer be used in court following a judge’s ruling that his constitutional rights were violated.

Clermont County Common Pleas Judge Richard Ferenc wrote in a ruling that authorities failed to appropriately notify Chad Doerman, 33, of his Miranda rights, including his right against self-incrimination and his right to an attorney, before investigators interrogated him.

The ruling comes as Doerman stands trial for the alleged murder of his three three sons: 7-year-old Clayton, 4-year-old Hunter and 3-year-old Chase.

Doerman was arrested on June 15 after police said he used a rifle to kill all three sons, allegedly shooting one in his bedroom, then chasing the other two throughout the home and yard, before shooting them each several times. His wife and daughter, who later flagged down a neighbor for help, both told authorities they witnessed the shootings.


Police body cam footage shows the arrest of Chad Doerman after he allegedly shot and killed his three sons. (Clermont County Sheriff’s Office / BODY CAMS+ /TMX)

In Ferenc’s ruling, which was made public last week, he said Doerman’s Miranda rights “were violated” because detectives “failed to properly and fully advise Doerman of them prior to initiating the Custodial Interrogation and all statements obtained from Doerman during the Custodial Interrogation shall be suppressed and the State shall not adduce any of these statements in their case-in-chief,” WLWT reported.

The judge continued: “The Defendant’s Miranda rights were violated when the Custodial Interrogation continued after the Defendant had unequivocally and unambiguously invoked his right to counsel.”

Ferenc ruled all statements obtained from the interrogation are to be barred from the case.


In June, Doerman was arrested after police responded to the home in Monroe Township and found him sitting outside with a rifle. According to court documents, Doerman was watching the mother, who was shot in the hand during the frantic situation, attempting life-saving aid to one of the boys in the yard.

Doerman was arrested on June 15 after police said he used a rifle to kill all three sons, allegedly shooting one in his bedroom, then chasing the other two throughout the home and yard. (Clermont County Sheriff’s Office / BODY CAMS+ /TMX)

During the arrest, Doerman repeatedly confessed to fatally shooting the boys, court documents show.

“The defendant made multiple statements to law enforcement, such as ‘I did it. Take me to jail.’, ‘I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have shot [redacted] and them.’ The defendant also gave a statement during an audio and video recorded interview, during which he admitted to having been thinking about shooting his sons since October,” the documents said, WCPO reported.

When officers responded to the scene, body cam footage caught the boys’ mother saying: “They’re dead, aren’t they? He took my life from me. He shot them all.”

Clermont County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Doerman at his home on June 15. (Clermont County Sheriff’s Office / BODY CAMS+ /TMX)

Doerman was subsequently charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping and felonious assault.

Doerman first appeared in court on June 16, one day after the murders. During the hearing, David Gast, assistant Clermont County prosecutor, told the judge that the alleged crimes were “the most serious offense that we have on the books.”

Doerman stands accused of murdering his three sons: 7-year-old Clayton, 4-year-old Hunter and 3-year-old Chase.  (Clermont County Sheriff’s Office / BODY CAMS+ /TMX)

“This is it. You can’t commit a more serious offense,” Gast added, per WCPO.

Doerman later pleaded not guilty to the murders on June 23 and the judge ordered he be held in the Clermont County jail on a $20 million cash bond.

His trial is expected to begin in July.

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