The Ottumwa Courier

July 2, 2013

Pollard defense asks that criminal past be banned from trial

By CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — The defense team representing the man accused of killing an adult store manager doesn't want his criminal past to come up during the upcoming murder trial.

Bruce Darnell Pollard, 26, will head to trial on July 16 on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. He was arrested two months after the body of Cinema X theater manager Kenneth McDaniel, 70, was discovered inside the front door of the establishment on March 13, 2012.

Pollard's attorneys, Allen L. Cook III and Natasha O'Hollearn, plan to call Dr. Craig Rypma, a clinical psychologist from Des Moines, to testify to support their claims of Pollard's "diminished capacity."

But the state, represented by Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown and Wapello County Attorney Lisa Holl, said that any written report from Rypma is hearsay "that was created for the specific purposes of litigation in this case" and asked that it be inadmissible as evidence.

Prosecutors requested that Dr. Anna Salter, a clinical psychologist from Madison Wis., evaluate Pollard at the Wapello County Law Center.

The defense also asked that the state exclude character evidence from the trial, which the state resisted. Prosecutors plan to enter evidence of Pollard's alleged involvement in the robberies prior to, the day of and following McDaniel's murder, stating that his alleged "involvement in the robberies will assist the jury in identifying Bruce Pollard as Kenneth McDaniel's killer," according to court documents.

Pollard has also been charged in the armed robbery of the Sonic drive-in restaurant the night before the murder, as well as the armed robbery at the Jefferson Street BP convenience store two days after the murder.

The defense also wants to ban Pollard's prior criminal convictions from being entered during the trial, but prosecutors said they don't plan to enter the convictions into testimony unless Pollard testifies at the trial.

A hearing on these unresolved issues will be held July 10.