Cerro Gordo County District Judge Stephen Carroll heard arguments on three motions in a hearing Tuesday afternoon in the Wanda Kruse theft case. Carroll ruled that the trial should be moved to Frankilin County and jury selection would begin Wednesday at 9AM.|MASON CITY – Cerro Gordo County District Judge Stephen Carroll heard arguments on three motions in a hearing Tuesday afternoon in the Wanda Kruse theft case.
Kruse has been charged with second degree theft by misappropriation of funds, a class D felony.
Kruse’s lawyer, David C. Laudner, had presented three motions recently that were ruled upon Tuesday by Judge Carroll.
The first motion Carroll ruled on was a change of venue. Cerro Gordo County Prosecutor Carlyle Dalen offered no resistance to the request and Carroll ruled that the trial should be moved to Franklin County.
Kruse stuck with her request for a speedy trial, and Carroll set jury selection for 9 AM Wednesday morning in Hampton, with prosecutor’s opening remarks set for 1 PM.
Carroll then heard explanations from Dalen and Launder about the timeliness of discovery evidence being handed over to the defense. Due to the case changing prosecutors, Laudner said he had just received all the charges and evidence within the last several days, but was now fine with moving forward with the trial. Dalen told Carroll and Laudner that he had handed “1000’s of papers” and “boxes” of evidence, and has “an open door policy” for defense lawyers as far as seeing evidence. The prosecution contends that Kruse took about $5,000 from a bingo fund and paid relatives for work that was never done.
On the final motion, a request by Laudner to have Dalen removed as he prosecuting attorney, Carroll denied the request, saying there was no conflict of interest. Laudner put Dalen on the witness stand and asked a series of questions about whether Dalen, as a county employee, had a stake in finding Kruse guilty, which could aid a possible civil suit against Kruse. Dalen said no such conflict existed, and Carroll agreed.