From David — A weblog (with full archive)

November 30, 2021 — Trial under Covid protocols

Yes, indeed, the trial for Dineane Ducharme will go ahead as scheduled. Jury selection is slated for this Friday and the trial will go ahead with the gallery closed to the public. It may be the jury selection will be shared on facebook live-streaming, but the trial certainly will be. This is the web address for watching all that. (Click on the livestream link for Chief Judge Janice Cunningham.)

I will be interested to see whether the court will show jury selection on Friday. I think there are two competing interests. The first is to make the trial available to the public to ensure openness and transparency. If you were sitting in the courtroom during voir dire (jury selection), you would see and hear the jurors as they responded to questions and challenges.

The second interest is the need to protect jurors from unwanted scrutiny; they must be able to do their job without influence or pressure. It is not permitted for news media to publish images of jurors during jury selection and a trial. According to Administrative Order 1989-01, “(iii) Film or electronic media coverage of the jurors or the jury selection process shall not be permitted.” Sometimes, after a trial, jurors will choose to sit for interviews, but that’s when everything is done.

How to reconcile those two contradictory impulses remains to be seen. Always the question remains: could it in some way be an appealable issue?

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November 29, 2021 — Trial for Dineane Ducharme next week

To the best of my knowledge, the trial for Dineane Ducharme for her part in the murder of her step-father Roberto Caraballo, May 7, 2002, begins next week in Eaton County’s 56th Circuit Court. It’s likely that the trial will be held under Covid protocols…spacing out the jury in the public gallery. That will mean that the proceedings will not be open to the public but, instead, viewable on the court’s facebook page. I’ll try to get that address and confirmation.

There always is the possibility that the prosecution and defense might come to an agreement on a plea and sentencing in this case.

As well, Dineane’s mother, Beverly Anne Magliochetti (aka Beverly McCallum), remains in an Italian jail awaiting extradition for her alleged part in this murder.

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August 16, 2021 — A mistrial

Even before the court session opened today it was clear to the judge, the prosecutor, and the defense that there was a mistrial. The jury had been selected last Friday, and all was in order to move ahead. All the witnesses had been summoned for today, the prosecution and defense were ready to go. But over the weekend, a juror grew uncomfortable with the proximity that would have been required in the jury box…there was no room for social distancing. And with the Covid delta variant on the rise, there was ample reason for consideration. The only other accommodation would have been to position the jurors in the general seating area of the courtroom…where it’s distant and dark. Such distance and resulting reliance on video monitors really would have compromised a fair trial. That’s because so much relies on jury members being able to clearly see the defendant, witnesses, the attorneys, the judge. So, the trial was scrubbed for now. It will be rescheduled for late October or early November. Judge Janice Cunningham said THAT trial will not be postposed and will be set up for social distancing if necessary but with enough time to do it right in order to preserve a fair trial. That also would mean that there would be no access by the media or general public and that the proceedings would be shared live on YouTube to meet the concept of an open court.

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July 27, 2021 — Wherefore art thou?

I have been missing in action. Much has happened. There has been an arrest in the Deannie Peters case. James Frisbie has been arrested and while details are still pretty limited pending court proceedings…they will be coming.

Casey West also has let me know that Dennis Bowman has a trial date set for January of 2022.

And to the point here, Dineane Ducharme will stand trial August 16 in Eaton County’s 56th Circuit Court, Judge Janice K. Cunningham presiding, for her part in the murder of Roberto Caraballo in the Jack in the Box case. As well, to the best of my knowledge Beverly Anne Magliochetti (aka Beverly McCallum) remains in an Italian jail awaiting extradition.

Gotta get my paperwork in. Every time I want to put a camera in a courtroom I need to ask for permission. This is what that looks like.

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March 9, 2021 — A body found

Skeletal remains have been found near Saugatuck. So far, just questions. But this from WOOD TV.

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February 24, 2021 — Dennis Bowman bound over for trial

Dennis Bowman’s wife testified that he confessed to the murder of their adopted daughter Alexis Miranda Badger/Aundria Bowman. Here are the details from reporter Carolyn Muyskens and chronicled in the Holland Sentinel. He is headed to trial in Allegan County Circuit Court. In a subsequent development, Bowman has been linked to a 1979 assault, according to WOODTV.

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February 22, 2021 — Dennis Bowman in court

I caught a news report yesterday that Dennis Bowman was headed for a preliminary hearing in Allegan County’s 57th District Court today for the murder of his adopted daughter Alexis Miranda Badger also known as Aundria Bowman. Bowman has been charged with murder, first-degree child abuse and mutilation of a body. At the time of the hearing this was a live link to the court. There will be plenty coming out about it.

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September 15, 2020 — Fifty years ago today

Shelley Speet Mills was murdered in Grand Rapids.

The crime remains unsolved.

I finished date film about the case–a process that took ten years–and came out four years ago. I invite you to watch it. Alas, the settings on Vimeo do not allow me to give it away, but I can sell it for 99 cents, which I am doing.

If you need you 99 cents back, let me know.

But if you order it up–or even you don’t–please send up a prayer that this case be solved. I believe that it can be.

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August 10, 2020 — Digging for the truth

An exhumation last week in Ottawa county sought DNA answers to Jenny, a Jane Doe who had been murdered. Here is the story from The Grand Rapids Press.

For some odd reason, this case has never been on my radar. I had sought out all the unsolved homicides in the county and for some reason this one never came up. Others did.

We can wish investigators all success in their identification of the victim–always a good start–and then finding the killer. We know it can happen.

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July 22, 2020 — And that’s how he died

We reported on the June 8 death of James Cleophus “Bubba” Nelson. At the time we had no cause of death. That has been rectified.

According to the Jackson County Clerk’s Office, the cause of death was complications of metastatic prostate cancer. I am so grateful for the kindly offered help of the Clerk’s office.

Nelson’s hometown obituary read this way:

JAMES CLEOPHUS NELSON, 73, formerly of Charleston, W.Va., born on May 31, 1947, to the Late Edward and Jessie Nelson. He passed away on June 8, 2020, at Duane Waters Medical Center in Jackson, Mich., after a long illness.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lynn Nelson; his brothers, Eugene, William, Floyd, Leon, Howard, Herbert; and sister, Virginia.

He leaves to cherish his memory his sons, Ricardo and Marcus Nelson of Cincinnati, Ohio; sisters, Ethel Bright (Ronald), Maxine Nelson, Naomi Courts, all of Charleston, W.Va., Lucille Nelson of Columbus, Ohio; a host of a nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.

Arrangements entrusted to Sherwood Funeral Home in Jackson, Mich. Due to the COVID-19, a private memorial will be provided at a later date.

Here is a link to the newspaper account including a pacific smiling photograph of the deceased.

No place in the obituary does it mention that he was a murderous monster. But then, most often families get to pay for obituaries and so they pretty much read the way the families want them to.

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