From David — A weblog (with full archive)

February 7, 2022 — Long sentences

Dineane Ducharme was sentenced to life in prison today for her part in the 2002 murder of her stepfather, Roberto Caraballo.

On this same day, Dennis Bowman was sentenced to 35-50 years in the no-contest plea in the murder of his adopted daughter, Alexis Badger (aka Aundria Bowman) in 1989. You can read about it here and you can watch the prosecuting attorney’s press conference after the sentencing.

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February 1 , 2022 — Sentencing postponed

The mandatory life sentence for Dineane Ducharme has been postponed until next Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. So far we think it’s scheduled for 1 p.m.

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December 29, 2021 — One plea, one partial answer

Dennis Bowman pled no contest in the murder of his adopted daughter Alexis Badger/Aundria Bowman in 1989. Here is the Holland Sentinel story about that. The plea comes as a relief.

The second bit of news concerns an unidentified murder victim from 1994 known to Ottawa Country Sheriff’s Department as Matilda. While the department has not yet disclosed a name, DNA analysis identified the young woman. Twenty-seven years and she will at last be known. Here is a WOOD TV report from Ken Kolker. Once she is given her name again, the sheriff’s department may have more tools to identify her killer. Yeah, I got a little involved in this case with this account.

These are two good elements with which to close out a year.

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December 16, 2021 –Guilty on all counts

Dineane Ducharme has been found guilty of first-degree murder (mandatory life), conspiracy to commit murder, and mutilation of a dead body. Sentencing is February 1.

Now we await the return of Dineane’s mother, Beverly Anne Magliochetti, from her hold in a Roman jail. She has been portrayed as the mastermind of the crime and its prime assailant.

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December 15, 2021 — The case is now with the jury

All the testimony has been elicited, all the exhibits shown, and all the arguments have been made. The evidentiary part of the trial is now concluded. This morning came the closing arguments for the prosecution, the defense, a rebuttal from the prosecution, and lastly, instructions for the jury from the judge. It all comes down to reasonable doubt for defendant Dineane Ducharme. And, if she is found guilty, to which of the three charges (open murder, conspiracy to commit, and mutilation of a body) and, in the case of murder, degree: first or second.

We wait.

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December 8, 2021 — More trial

Today we heard a little from Det. Bob Donker (retired) and then much more from Det. Roger Maltby (retired). We are skipping tomorrow and will resume on Friday at 8:30 with Det. Maltby.

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December 7, 2021 — The trial continues

Two days so far. Opening arguments, testimony from the victim’s daughter, Detective Bob Donker, forensic pathologist Steve Cohle, M.D., then back to Det. Donker. And that’s where we left it to pick up tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m.. You may watch by going here and then selecting Judge Janice Cunningham’s courtroom. It is a far cry from being IN the courtroom. The feed is not robust and the audio is problematic, but such is the exigency under Covid. And you have to go back each and every time the feed is interrupted and hit the link again. Tomorrow’s session is to last to about 3 p.m. The trail will then recommence on Friday, again at 8:30. It’s likely to run into next week.

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December 5, 2021 — Trial begins tomorrow morning

Tomorrow morning begins again the trial of Dineane Ducharme in Charlotte’s Eaton County Circuit Court. The trial is being run under Covid protocols…no audience or news media. But there is an internet feed via facebook. The trial will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Nothing Thursday, and then again 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. You can watch here by selecting the node for Judge Janice Cunningham’s court. The trial may run into next week, too.

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December 3, 2021 — Yep, they are showing the jury selection

That, of course, was one question. We’ll see how it goes. To watch? Here.

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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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