The Ottumwa Courier

January 22, 2014

Judge warns after arraignment no-show

By MATT MILNER
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — Judges tend to take their work seriously, and they don’t care for it when someone doesn’t appear for a hearing.

Online court records show Kevin Galbraith, a defendant in a drug case, failed to show up for his arraignment this week. Judge Myron Gookin rescheduled the arraignment to Feb. 3. That doesn’t sound like much of a penalty, and Galbraith might not face further repercussions. But a note in the filing makes it clear the judge wasn’t happy: Galbraith has the choice of making sure he’s at the February hearing or having the court issue a warrant for his arrest.

Arraignments aren’t the biggest step in most cases. The proceeding is where a defendant is formally informed of the charges against him and, in many cases, a written arraignment replaces a physical appearance in court.

But, occasionally, the defense may opt for an arraignment in court, which requires the defendant to be present. Galbraith’s arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday.

Galbraith is charged with possession of meth with the intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of a prescription drug without a prescription.

This isn’t the first unusual event since the case against Galbraith was filed in November. The defense filed for a bond review and a hearing was granted, but the motion was withdrawn before the hearing took place.

Galbraith has pleaded not guilty.

In other cases:

The four defendants in what authorities have described as a case involving sale of synthetic drugs have been scheduled for trial. Jesse Leon, Brooke Ellis, Christopher Wood and Nathan Noe have each been scheduled for trials beginning June 23, 2014. It is not unusual for trial dates to change as the case proceeds, though.

The charges against Amevi Nsougan from a December stabbing have been upgraded. Initially charged with willful injury, Nsougan now faces charges of attempted murder and willful injury. His arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Adem Anota’s trial on kidnapping charges has been scheduled for April 1. Anota had previously given a partial waiver of his right to a speedy trial in which the defense agreed any trial date before April 2 would be acceptable.