The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on April 1, 1999 · Page 16
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 16

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 1, 1999
Page 16
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The Des Moines Register H Thursday, April 1, 1999 iAppeal Irejected lin double slaying : By FRANK SANTIAGO Kkiiistkh Staff Wkitkk The Iowa Court of Appeals on "Wednesday upheld two murder con-evictions against a man who claimed his lawyers were too afraid of him to "properly represent him. Darrell Smith was convicted of shooting two men dead in 1996 in Des Moines to steal their drugs and money. In his appeal, he claimed his two public defenders should have been pulled from the case because of a conflict of interests. During the trial, a sheriffs deputy said he heard Smith say that he was going to "whack" one of the lawyers because he was unhappy with his representation. District Judge Jack Levin then ordered Smith to sit at a table behind the lawyers and communicate with them via notes. ,' Earlier, another public defender had withdrawn when Smith spat at him during a conference. A lawyer on the second team, Annette Hitchcock, told the judge that neither she nor Woody Johnson, the other lawyer, was afraid. "What the concern is, we are trying to do our job," she said. ', Smith appealed the convictions, but the Court of Appeals upheld them. "Although Smith maintains that the reason his counsel wanted him removed from the counsel table was because they were afraid of him, ; . . there was no conflict of interest and no need to substitute counsel." - Smith was convicted of killing Victor Blakely and Darryl Jenkins, who were shot at close range while ; sitting in a car parked in the 1100 ! block of 25th Street. J In other rulings, the court: Affirmed a Pottawattamie ; County judge's dismissal of a defa-'mation lawsuit by Bell Security Inc. .against several media organizations in the Council Bluffs area The company, which was in the ; business of installing AT&T alarm systems in Nebraska and western J Iowa, claimed that the Omaha Police J Department sent faxes to the media that had false and damaging infor-mation. Among the police's allega- tions, Bell Security said, was that the company had violated a Nebraska law, targeted older citizens and sold ,' alarms two or three times more ex-' pensive than comparable systems. A similar lawsuit against the city was dismissed in federal court. In the Pottawattamie County case, Lee Enterprises of Davenport, one of the 1 defendants, argued that all evidence ! was in Nebraska and that the Iowa ; court had no jurisdiction. The Court , of Appeals agreed that Iowa wasn't ; the proper forum. f Upheld the first-degree murder , conviction of Benjamin Schreiber, '43, of Ottumwa for the 1996 slaying I of John Terry, 39, who was beaten to J death with an ax handle. In his appeal, Schreiber said he should have been allowed to show in his trial that Terry had a criminal Ipast and that he could have been ; killed by someone else during an at- tempted burglary. j But the court said that evidence of Terry's character was irrelevant and I that evidence against Schreiber was j overwhelming. t Reporter Frank Santiago can be reached at (515) 284-8528 or AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS ACCELERATED DEGREES 5:45 - 9:30 p.m. Business Management, Office Technology, Computer Support Services Mondays & Wednesdays April 14 -May 19 5:45 - 9:30 p.m. CM120 Composition I IT160 PageMaker IT210 LAN Administration 56110 Psychology E-mail: roil 515-244-4221 or 1-600-444-1921 FAX 244-6773 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS 2500 Fleur Drive, De5 Moines, IA 50321 State to aid U.S. review of hospitals By SHIRLEY SALEMY KKiiisTFR Staff Whiter Iowa officials will cooperate with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into conditions at the state's two hospital-schools, Gov. Tom Vil-sack said in a letter released Wednesday. But Vilsack also noted that an extensive state investigation has given the facilities in Woodward and Glenwood, which I care for people wxiwrd DES with mental retar- V moines' dation, a clean bill (.Ggwcod J ofht,ath o mm iuo Juslice Department spokeswoman Christine DiBartolo would not comment on what sparked the investigation. Last year, the agency said it was looking into complaints involving Woodward. Woodward State Hospital-School came under scrutiny last summer after the bathtub drowning of a Boone railroad plans a new dining train to run Saturday nights RAILROAD Continued from I'u&e 1M red trim is a slice of 1950s nostalgia. The words "City of San Francisco" on the side remind passengers of the car's roots. The dining car will roll on Saturday nights, Stevenson said, carrying hungry passengers through the Des Moines River valley on a two-hour, 22-mile round trip to Wolf Junction. The season will end in December. Stevenson said he expects the dinner train to draw all kinds of customers, from business people taking clients to dinner to couples celebrating anniversaries. He also expects to see a few marriage proposals. Policy would ensure neighborly companies NEIGHBORS Continued from I'uge JAf of traffic, protect the environment and nearby noses, maintain a safe and secure site, increase property values and provide jobs for Des Moines workers before anybody else. Ellen Walkowiak, project manager Tuesdays & Thursdays April 15 May 20 5:45 - 9:30 p.m. IT170 Microsoft Office BA230 Investments 55130 Folitical Science BM160 Principles of Economics TC210 Computer Reservations Register Today! resident, and a criminal probe continues into how 18 residents at Glenwood State Hospital-School were infected with clilamydia, a sexually transmitted disease. No arrests have been made, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says. State investigators concluded that both facilities corrected their problems. They recommended that the hospital-schools retain their ability to care for people who receive government financing through the Medicaid program. Bill Lann Lee, acting assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, wrote to Vilsack that the probe will focus on protection from harm, medical and mental health care, restraints and seclusion, treatment, training, education, staffing and community placement. "The initiation of this investigation does not indicate a prejudgment on our part that residents' federal rights, in fact, have been violated," The main dining car can carry 32 people. Attached are two private compartments made for two to four people. "People are always looking for something unique," Stevenson said. "The interest so far is overwhelming. We were really taken aback by it." Passengers will be served a tiger shrimp cocktail appetizer and an entree orange roughy, chicken cordon bleu or roast pork loin as the train chugs through Iowa farmland and over the Bass Point Creek High Bridge. Taking a 230-foot dip into the river basin, the train will roll at a leisurely 5 to 10 mph, past old coal mines and trickling streams. By the time the dining car reverses course at Wolf Junction, passengers for the city's Economic Development office, said business prospects will receive a copy of the neighborly principles early in a company's dealings with the city. It will be up to the company to decide what needs to be done to comply, Walkowiak said, but each potential developer in the agribusiness area will have to meet with a committee of neighborhood folks. Innocent plea entered for By SARAH WYATT AssilCI.VTKIl I'HKSS Janesville, Wis. An Iowa man accused in a van crash that killed seven young magazine salespeople and seriously injured five others pleaded innocent of vehicular homicide here Wednesday. Jeremy Holmes, 20, of Clinton stood silent when asked how he pleaded. Rock County (Wis.) Court Commissioner Charles Holznecht entered innocent pleas for Holmes on seven counts of negligent It's Our Spring Warehouse Clearance Prices Drastically Reduced! Overstocked! Quality Furniture and Accessories. Shop Early For Best Selection. Bring your truck or van, we'll help you load it! ymp rash (see store for details) . y TINA YEETiif: Resident accused Glenwood authorities this week accused a 36-year-old resident of the state hospital-school there of sexually abusing a fellow resident last year. Mills County Attorney Kenneth Whitacre said the charge is not related to the ongoing investigation of a possible sexual assault of hospital-school residents. State authorities are still working to determine how 18 residents became infected with chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease. Lee wrote. He also said federal officials want to begin the probe as soon as possible. The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act allows federal authorities to investigate complaints at publicly run institutions, nursing homes, prisons and similar facilities fin votU The Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad will VII II uvll add a dining i dining The dinner train will begin rolling on May 8. Tickets will be $45 per person. Reservations i69 must be made 48 hours in advance. For more information, call (800) 626-0319. will be eating Granny Smith apple pie with caramel sauce, Stevenson said. Milton Westendorf, who owned the depot where the Star Clipper had its headquarters, said the Boone dinner train will fill a tourism niche, Once neighborhood and business officials settle on a good-neighbor agreement, that document will become a part of any contracts between the developer and Des Moines. Break it, and you might have to pay back any economic aid. Walkowiak said she expects business to support the new policy, because it gets all potential problems out in the open. vehicular homicide and five of causing great bodily harm. Holmes cried as Holznecht read off the charges stemming from the accident near Janesville last week. Holznecht ordered that Holmes remain in the county jail on $47,500 bail. District Attorney David O'Leary said it is too soon to tell when the case might go to trial. The van was carrying 14 young people selling magazine subscriptions door to door when it overturned on Interstate Highway 90. The accident happened as Holmes AMXSH Furniture 1 V ""Mound . . BOONE . "M&Zki COUNTY - ,. iiUttMiJ ( fPTOl V- 3030 100th St. Urbandale 270-1 133 888 Preparing for Takeoff Tom Werti of Des Moines finds the winds can be fickle as he attempts to launch his kite Tuesday afternoon in Waterworks Park. More winds are expected today, along with some sunshine and a high of 70. Rkcistkk of sex abuse David Wayne Lewis was charged Monday with third-degree sexual abuse, according to the county attorney and Glenwood police. He was being held in Mills County Jail, authorities said. He is accused of sexually assaulting an adult female client outside the laundry building on campus, said Glenwood police Lt. John O'Connor. The incident occurred a few days before Thanksgiving. Shirley Salemy to determine whether rights have been violated. Officials have conducted more than 200 such probes since 1980, DiBartolo said. Reporter Shirley Salemy can be reached at (515) 284-6131 or car car next month. MARY KLI.EX KKLUYTlIK KWilSTKR as well as tourists' stomachs. "I'm glad Boone's doing that, because the Star Clipper was kind of fun," Westendorf said. "They fed you well. It was kind of elaborate, and the waitresses really put the royalty on there." "Businesses do not want to be in a position to where there's going to be a conflict," Walkowiak said. "If you know what I expect from you, you'll either accept that ... or basically you'll decide you'll do something else." Reporter Jeff Eckhoff can be reached at (515) 284-8271 or - BJB3T A Boone i 4 :;.. Ka(eSh.ey r-- j , I ''J' m ''.. - HtghBmlg r ".,... showy --isr alleged van-crash driver tried to switch seats with a passenger when he saw an officer preparing to pull him over, State Patrol officials said. His driver's license was not valid in Wisconsin because of a string of traffic tickets, officials said. Holmes' lawyer, public defender Brenna Lisowski, said he is upset but "seems to be keeping it together as well as he can." "Obviously, jail is pretty tough on him because he certainly isn't someone who is a common criminal who is used to this sort of surrounding," she said. "The fact that his friends A , TO HtC"MJ PfMP 4 Between Hickman & Douglas Roads Store Hours: Mon - Fri 10-8, Sat 10-5 & Sun 12-5 Homicide r victim 1 buried in Wisconsin By CHARLES BULLARD Km ustkh's Iowa City Hi' ' Iowa City, la. Maria Therese Lehner was laid to rest in Wisconsin on Wednesday as construction crews in Iowa City began gutting the apartment where her bludgeoned, burned body was found 12 days ago. Lehner, 27, was remembered as a prom queen, scholar and athlete, the shining star of the class of 1989 at Brookwood High School in her hometown of Brooklyn, Wis. She was one of two women found slain in the Iowa City apartment, where authorities say a fire was set to cover up evidence. But the flames, which police say were preceded by an explosion, were contained to the living room and did very little damage to the rest of the apartment. The explosion bowed out the south wall of the living room, but the rest of the second-floor apartment was intact, said Frank Birchfield of L.J. Roth Reconstruction Inc., the company that is rebuilding "the apartment near downtown Iowa City. ' ! "It was just a real quick, hot burst," Birchfield said. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in minutes and discovered two charred bodies in the living room. Laura Watson Dalton, a 29-year-old paramedic from Creston, was identified the next day. But Lehner, a 27-year-old environmental scientist from Belton, Mo., was not identified until Saturday. Both died of skull fractures from multiple blows to the head. Classmates and friends who learned of Lehner's death were among the 250 mourners at St. Augustine's Catholic Church. "She was just a very, very well-spoken person. I just can't believe that something like this happened to her," said former classmate Tim Keller. Lehner was in Cedar Rapids for a March 18 appointment and had a meeting scheduled for the next day in Iowa City, but never showed up. Dalton, who was in Iowa City to visit friends, was last seen on March 17 St. Patrick's Day two days before her body was found. Witnesses saw her drinking at two Iowa City bars with John Lee Memmej-j a 23-year-old transient with a criminal record. Memmer is refusing to talk to investigators and remains in the Johnson County Jail on $1 million bond. Lehner was last seen on March 18, a day before her body was found, but authorities will not say where or when. She checked into an Iowa City motel, but officials will not identify which one. Shane Tritz, 22, a University- pf Iowa senior from Sioux City, lived in a ground-floor apartment in the six-plex where the bodies were found. Tritz was packing his belongings Wednesday and preparing to leave school early. "I don't feel safe staying here," said Tritz, who was home for spring break when the bodies were discovered. He said he has not slept in his apartment since the murders. Tritz, who was scheduled to graduate May 15, said the University of Iowa is allowing him to leave school early "and take the grades I have right now." ,( THIS STORY contains information from the Associated Press are dead has been difficult for him as well, as it would be for anybody." ' Two of the injured remained, in critical condition Wednesday. The occupants of the van, ranging in age from 15 to 25, had been selling magazines for YES, an affiliate of Subscriptions Plus of Oklahoma.'' 1 They were returning to a motel in Janesville, Wis., where they had been staying for two weeks. ' , The Oklahoma Labor Department issued eight citations against Subscriptions Plus earlier this week for 123 alleged violations of the state's Workers Compensation Act. ' - 403 - 181 1

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