The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 9, 2013

Motion against hearsay filed in OTA case

(Continued)

“It’s a procedural thing to alert the court that there’s a possibility that these things could come up,” he said.

Grassley’s office said it had “no record of involvement by Sen. Grassley or his office” in the alleged investigation.

Ward’s attorneys also requested that Memorandums of Activity from interviews of Wagner, Councilman Mitch Niner and Bill Musgrove be excluded from any mention before a jury on the basis that they include hearsay testimony, rumors and speculation “which are not within their first-hand knowledge or are inadmissible.”

According to court documents, comments from witnesses regarding the character or character traits of Ward and other witnesses are inadmissible. Ward’s attorneys also wrote that “witnesses should and can only testify as to matters of which they have personal knowledge.”

“Many statements made by these witnesses are admitted ‘rumors.’ They are unsubstantiated and not trustworthy,” according to court documents filed by Ward’s attorneys.

“... in this case, as shown by the MOAs the witnesses themselves state that large portions of their statement is information provided by others, information which is a result of rumor, information which is nothing other than supposition, speculation or conclusion, without any stated factual basis on which to support those matters or which are unsubstantiated or totally irrelevant to the charges before this court,” according to court documents. “... because of the adversarial nature of the witnesses to [Ward], there is a high probability that, as in the statement to authorities, the witness will provide the inadmissible testimony in response to questions which are not intended to elicit that testimony, unfairly prejudicing or inflaming the jury.”

The trial is currently scheduled to begin on June 3 in the Des Moines U.S. Courthouse.

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