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Parts of police interviews suppressed for armored car robbery and arson suspect

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An armored car stands open following an attempted robbery and shooting outside U.S. Bank in Kimball Avenue following an armored car robbery and shooting on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

WATERLOO – Some of the statements an Evansdale man charged in an armored truck robbery and other crimes made to investigators won’t be heard by a jury.

That’s because a judge said one of the questioners improperly suggested leniency if he talked, according to a judge.

Kevin Cruz Soliveras, 30, is in jail awaiting trial in a 2020 armored truck robbery that ended in the death of an accomplice as well as arson charges in devastating fires at Maples Lanes bowling center and The Wishbone restaurant.

Authorities said Cruz and others lit the fires to cover their tracks after burglarizing the landmark establishments. Cruz suffered a gunshot wound to the head when Rochester Armored Car guards fired during the robbery attempt in March, and he was arrested in Des Moines days later.

During a recent suppression hearing, the defense argued that because of the bullet injury to his head and because of head injuries from being a professional boxer, Cruz didn’t know what he was doing when he waived his Miranda rights to remain silent.

District Court Judge Andrea Dryer didn’t agree that the head injuries precluded him from waiving his rights — after all, investigators said Cruz was responding appropriately to questions, and he had requested to talk with police.

But Dryer — in a ruling issued last week — noted that during that last in a series of interviews while in custody, a sheriff’s deputy who was questioning Cruz about crimes made assurances that amounted to promises of leniency.

Although the deputy told Cruz he couldn’t make promises, and any deals would have to come from prosecutors, he suggested that because of his limited role in the crime and because he didn’t have an extensive criminal history, he would likely get a deal if he cooperated, Dryer said.

Dryer ruled that statements Cruz made to Waterloo police when he was detained in Des Moines on March 12, as well as subsequent jail interviews on March 14 and 18 about the robbery and business fires were admissible. But statements during the last interview will be suppressed.

Others arrested in the armored truck robbery include Rogelio Gonzalez and Justina Lynn Davis, and trial has tentatively been scheduled for late March.

Dryer earlier turned down a defense request to move the trial out of Waterloo.

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An Evansdale man has been arrested for setting fire to the Maple Lanes Bowling Center while a maintenance worker was inside in February.

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