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Detective testifies about Bryant's pre-arrest questioning

Bryant, second from left, arrives at court Tuesday morning.
Bryant, second from left, arrives at court Tuesday morning.

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Detectives testified that Kobe Bryant told detectives investigating a rape accusation against him to do the 'best job you can do.' CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
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EAGLE, Colorado (CNN) -- After about an hour of questioning last July, Kobe Bryant shook hands with detectives investigating a rape accusation against him, telling them to do the "best job you can do," one of the detectives testified Tuesday.

On the second day of a hearing to determine whether deputies legally obtained information and evidence from Bryant, Eagle County Sheriff's Deputy Doug Winters said before deputies began their questioning, Bryant told his bodyguard he could leave, saying, "I'm fine with these guys," Winters testified Tuesday.

Winters said Tuesday that detectives told Bryant he was not under arrest and was free to leave.

Bryant's attorneys allege that sheriff's deputies questioned Bryant on July 2 about allegations of sexual assault without reading him his Miranda rights -- his legal right to remain silent during questioning and to have an attorney present. They argue Bryant was, in effect, in custody during the interview, which detectives secretly taped.

The hearing ended around 4:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. ET). Bryant did not take the stand. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 1.

Defense attorneys argue Bryant's answers to deputies and physical evidence deputies took were illegally obtained and should not be allowed in the trial.

The prosecution claims Bryant did not need to hear his Miranda rights because he had not been arrested and could have ended the interview whenever he wanted.

Bryant also told detectives July 2 that he was worried about media attention once the allegation was made public, Winters said.

After being excused from Monday's hearing because he was feeling ill, Bryant arrived in court Tuesday shortly before the 8 a.m. (10 a.m. ET), hearing before County District Judge Terry Ruckriegle .

Defense attorneys also argue that deputies took as evidence two T-shirts and a pair of nylon track pants, and took blood and hair samples without serving Bryant with a search warrant. They argue the items were seized illegally and the evidence should be suppressed.

In a preliminary hearing in October, Eagle County Detective Doug Winters testified that Bryant's accuser's blood was found on Bryant's T-shirt.

On Monday, the mother of Bryant's 19-year-old accuser testified for three hours in a closed hearing, as Ruckriegle considered arguments about whether a jury would learn about the alleged victim's medical history.

Bryant's defense attorneys claim the accuser waived her right to keep her medical history private by talking about it with her friends.

In previous court documents, Bryant's lawyers argued his accuser's medical and mental history may demonstrate her "motive, scheme, plan and modus operandi for falsely accusing Bryant of sexual assault" and should also be considered as a jury determines her credibility.

Prosecutors contend the records are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality.

Bryant, a 25-year-old guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, could be sentenced to four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if a jury convicts him of felony sexual assault.

The married father of a young daughter said he had consensual sex with the 19-year-old woman, a former employee of a mountain resort where he stayed last summer. The incident took place June 30 and was reported to authorities July 1.

The case is expected to go to trial this spring.

-- CNN Correspondent Gary Tuchman and CNN Producer Stan Wilson contributed to this report.


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