Letter to the Editor

The devil is in the details with attorney, candidate Dustin Dunfield's bench trial

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dear Editor:

I sat on the hard benches for four and a half hours and listened intently to the evidence at the Dunfield bench trial at Cedar County Circuit Court last Friday.

I did that because I wanted to see and hear for myself what the facts were. I wanted to see if the local media covered this proceeding and how accurately they reported the proceedings.

The reporting was fairly accurate but for a few discrepancies. The reporting does not capture the emotion at the hearing. It also left out significant moments.

Retired Judge Phillip heard the original case and testified that this case, after all the years, still did not sit well with him regarding Dunfield. When questioned if he had made a mistake, he commented it was not his finest hour and he was not proud of it.

With regards to Judge Quitno's testimony, I listened intently but I did not hear him say, "They found him guilty, absolutely."

I did hear Judge Quitno use the name of the young woman who this case revolves around but Circuit Judge Tim Perigo did not caution, interrupt, challenge or reprimand Judge Quitno.

Deference of one judge to another?

The biggest error that I see written within the article is the section that deals with "moment to talk" after Judge Phillips asked Dunfield what type of plea he was making. There was testimony that questioned "who" the public defender talked to at that time?

There was a question and it was mentioned that Judge Perigo would go back and review the tape recording to determine who the public defender talked with during this break. As fast as the decision came down after the hearing, I am amazed that they found the tape that fast, located the exact moment on the tape, and listened to it.

Must be some new technology. This would be an important issue to determine adequate representation.

After four and a half hours of backside pain, my mind began to play tricks on me.

I actually thought I heard a distant train whistle from the original case "railroad job."

Now is there light at the end of the tunnel or is it the train again?

Darrell Hickman