Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

July 11, 2014

Kaster sentenced to 60 days in jail

Knoxville — Shayne Michael Kaster was sentenced to 60 days in the Marion County Jail following a domestic abuse assault causing injury conviction. 

Kaster was tried in May and a jury found him guilty of the crime on May 5. Since then, his attorney, Todd Milar, has filed a motion for arrest in judgment and asked for a new trial. The State of Iowa, represented by Assistant Marion County Attorney Nicole Olson, has filed a resistance. 

Milar reiterated his reasons for seeking a new trial in open court on Friday, July 11. According to Milar, the complaining witness's testimony was inconsistent throughout the process. In addition, Milar argued that the accuser's medical records were unfairly discussed during the trial and, finally, the State referred to the accuser as a "victim" in court, which violated a previous ruling. 

Olson argued that she believes that the jury believed the accuser's testimony, over that of the defendant and there was sufficient evidence against Kaster to warrant the guilty verdict. She believes that Kaster's guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt and referred to the State's resistance that had been filed. 

Judge Terry Rickers denied the defense's motion for arrest in judgment and request for a new trial. He acknowledged the inconsistencies with the complaining witness's testimony, but said the role of the jury is to determine whose testimony they find credible and make their decision from that. The jury found the State's witnesses to be more credible. 

Rickers went on to say that the issue with the medical records did not rise to the level of a violation. Use of the term "victim" warranted admonishment, which was done, but he does not believe use of the term prejudiced the jury against Kaster. 

After denying the defense's motion and stating the reasons for his decision, Rickers moved on to the sentencing aspect of the hearing. 

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