Criminal Law Results
Type of case: Two men were charged with Criminal Damage to Property—1st Degree for interrupting public utility services.
My role: I defended, Terry Anderson, one of the two men charged in this case. Robert Huffer, Esq., of Story City, Iowa, defended the other man charged, Dennis Frayne.
At issue: Both men were accused by two eyewitnesses of opening half of the fire hydrants in Williams, Iowa, which drained the city water tower and left the city without water for many hours. Allegations of terrorism were raised because of interfering with a public utility.
During the investigation, I accompanied my client to an interview with the sheriff’s deputy that investigated the case. I provided the deputy numerous witnesses that could account for my client’s entire evening the night the hydrants were opened.
After charges were filed I was able to point out many problems in the deputy’s investigation that I and Mr. Huffer discovered during our representation:
The deputy did not interview the eyewitnesses provided during my conversation with him prior to filing charges.
Both eyewitnesses discussed their version of events for a length of time shortly before the deputy interviewed them. This allowed them an opportunity to make up a story. The deputy had to admit he did not know this.
One of the eyewitnesses was the mother to the best friend of the other eyewitness. She was also a first cousin of the prosecutor’s wife.
Both eyewitnesses had criminal records and had been prosecuted numerous times by the prosecutor pursuing my client’s charges.
An eyewitness that originally supported my client changed her testimony immediately before testifying at trial, but through using her prior sworn statement I was able to keep her locked into her original story.
Eyewitnesses I provided at the beginning of the investigation accounted for the whereabouts of Mr. Anderson and Mr. Frayne on the evening the fire hydrants were opened.
An expert witness on water systems was able to discredit the eyewitnesses version of events based upon other witnesses recalling when they lost water, and comparing it to the claims against Mr. Anderson and Mr. Frayne.
Mr. Anderson ran for Mayor of Williams, Iowa, in 2003, and Mr. Frayne ran for Mayor of Williams, Iowa, in 2005. Both men had been very vocal about city government prior to criminal charges being filed. The statewide media attention from this case appears to have negatively impacted Mr. Frayne’s run for Mayor.
One of the eyewitnesses was alleged to have had a romantic relationship with a former elected official in Williams, and also was alleged to have had a friendship with an appointed official in Williams that both Mr. Anderson and Mr. Frayne had criticized in their campaigns.
Results: My client was found not guilty in less than one (1) hour after a three (3) day jury trial.
Type of case: Criminal Sexual Conduct—3rd Degree, multiple charges of an adult having sexual penetration with a minor and forcing sexual penetration.
My role: I represented the Defendant through pre-trial hearings when I was a Contract Public Defender for Dakota County, Minnesota. After state budget cuts, many Public Defender contracts were ended, including mine. Sue Flinsch, Esq., a full-time Public Defender and former head attorney for the City of Saint Paul, was assigned the case.
At issue: The Defendant firmly contended the alleged victim lied about her age, claiming to be older than 16-years-old, which negated one facet of the charges. The Defendant also contended he did not force himself on the alleged victim and that all sexual penetration was consensual, which negated the other charge.
Results: During pre-trial hearings I raised the defense as to mistake of age and the defense of consensual penetration, which the court did allow at trial. I also prevented some statements made by the Defendant from being used against him at trial because law enforcement did not read his right to remain silent. Sue Flinsch, Esq., handled the trial and obtained a not guilty verdict on all counts.
Type of case: Methamphetamine Manufacturing while in Possession of an Offensive Weapon, Delivery of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Manufacturing Marijuana while in Possession of an Offensive Weapon, Unlawful Possession of Explosive Materials.
My role: I was prosecuting attorney for a 3-day Jury Trial and a pre-trial Motion to Suppress evidence filed by opposing counsel.
At issue: A confidential informant voluntarily came to law enforcement and wanted out of the drug scene. During a sting operation the defendant was arrested and a search warrant executed. The evidence seized included numerous weapons and explosive materials, night vision goggles, an altered tank with anhydrous ammonia hanging from a tree, 2-liter bottles containing ether in a meat freezer, altered gas cans, muriatic acid, scales, baggies, and marijuana growing above the kitchen sink.
Results: The conviction on all counts after a 3-day Jury Trial was upheld by the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Type of case: Burglary—2nd Degree, Kidnapping—1st Degree, Domestic Assault with a Dangerous
My role: I was the prosecuting attorney for a 3-day Jury Trial, 2-day Post-Conviction Relief Trial, and over 10 pre-trial motion hearings brought by opposing counsel.
At issue: A husband violated a no contact order protecting his wife for which he was charged for burglarizing his own home. The husband loaded a shotgun and placed it to his wife’s head. The husband chased his wife after she fled the house and ran her off a road with a vehicle. The wife sustained multiple injuries. Their children were in the home during most of the incident.
Results: The 3-day Jury Trial produced a conviction for Burglarly-2nd Degree, Domestic Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and False Imprisonment, a lesser included offense of Kidnapping. The conviction was upheld by the Iowa Court of Appeals and the District Court at the Post-Conviction Relief Trial. I won many of the pre-trial motions to admit evidence of the husband’s statements, the seized shotgun, letters the husband had delivered through his sister and mother to his wife asking her to recant her story, and many pictures of physical injuries.
Type of case: Sexual Assault by an adult male of two teenage girls on multiple occasions.
My role: I was the prosecuting attorney before the Grand Jury, a 3-day Jury Trial, and various pre-trial motions filed by opposing counsel.
At issue: The only evidence in this case was the word of two teenage girls. There were no physical injuries. The claims made were multiple incidents of sexual fondling by an adult male who was the live-in boyfriend of a mother to one of the girls.
Results: After a 3-day Jury Trial the defendant was convicted on two counts of a multi-count Grand Jury Indictment. This decision was upheld by the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Type of case: Escape from Custody and Fleeing the State to Avoid Prosecution.
My role: I was Special Prosecutor for a neighboring county in a 2-day Jury Trial.
At issue: The defendant was ordered by the Chief District Court Judge to wait for a sheriff’s deputy to transport him to prison. When the defendant was left alone he fled the courthouse and traveled from Iowa to Arizona. My witnesses were a neighboring Assistant Prosecutor, the first defense attorney, the neighboring County Sheriff, the court reporter, and the Chief District Court Judge.
Results: The 2-day Jury Trial resulted in a conviction that was upheld by the Iowa Court of Appeals.