FORT EDWARD - Marcus A. Breault told investigators he did not believe he was responsible for the death of his infant nephew, according to an audio recording of a portion of his questioning that was released this week.
Breault, who was charged on Sept. 11 with second-degree murder in the January 2006 smothering death of the child, confessed to killing the 3-month-old Elijah Ryan, police said.
Part of the confession includes a nearly 11-minute recording of State Police Senior Investigator Thomas Aiken and Hudson Falls Police Detective Scott Gillis discussing the confession with a person whom court records indicate was the 21-year-old Hudson Falls resident, Breault.
At the end, after Aiken read the four-page written statement aloud, the senior investigator asked him if there was anything additional he wanted to say.
Breault apologized to his ex-girlfriend, Ashley Ryan, who was the child's mother, and said, "I really wish things didn't happen like that.
"I thought I stopped in time, but obviously not."
Breault told police he rolled Elijah over onto his stomach so he was face down in a pillow three times in the hours before the baby was found dead. The first two times he turned the baby back over after the child began to gasp and a dog stirred, causing Breault to be concerned Ryan would wake up.
The third time he turned the child over, Breault told police he "put his face directly into the pillow" and went to sleep, according to court records. The baby was found dead by Ryan a few hours later.
No cause of death was determined during an autopsy after Elijah's death because the child had no injuries.
Breault was questioned by police several times but confessed to police last month after he allegedly made admissions to friends and relatives that he had killed the child.
In the recording, Breault can be heard agreeing that he signed the statement and corrected portions of it.
"You read your statement, all four pages?" Aiken asked.
"Yes," Breault replied.
"Did you have any problem understanding what we were talking about?" the senior investigator asked.
"No," Breault replied.
It does not appear any other portions of the questioning of Breault were recorded by police.
State law requires prosecutors to turn over evidence of admissions made by defendants at their arraignment in superior court in felony cases.
New York law does not require police to audio- or video record any portion of their interviews of criminal suspects. Police occasionally do in major cases, however.
The Washington County District Attorney's Office filed a copy of the recording in Washington County Court when Breault was arraigned last month.
Court officials would not release a copy of the recording until Monday, after both the district attorney's office and Breault's defense lawyer, Washington County Public Defender Patrick Barber, agreed to its release.
After his arrest, Breault told reporters he did not kill the child and that he has told relatives he did not confess.
Barber said Breault plans to challenge the validity of the alleged confession.
"I've talked to him a few times, and we've hired a PI (private investigator)," Barber said.
Breault has pleaded not guilty to a three-count indictment that includes a charge of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder. The latter charges are for the two initial attempts to suffocate the baby that police believe Breault aborted.
He told police he killed the baby because he was upset Ryan conceived the child with his half-brother, but his brother had no part in raising the boy.