BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A district judge has set aside less than a week for the trial of Morning Sun man accused of leaving a Muscatine woman on the side of the road in Lee County this summer.
At a hearing on Friday morning, Lee County Attorney Ross Braden and Keokuk defense attorney Curt Dial, worked the details of pretrial motions with District B Judge Michael Schilling including a Nov. 27 hearing date to rule on any motions. The jury trial with 12 jurors is set for Thursday, Dec. 4 at 9 a.m.
Dial is representing Damian Hamann, 28, of Morning Sun, who is charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in the death of Sadie Alvarado, 20, of Muscatine. Alvarado’s body was discovered along a ditch southwest of West Point on the morning of Aug. 5. Hamann turned himself into the Lee County Sheriff’s office that same evening and was released the next day on a pretrial release. Leaving the scene of a death accident is a class D felony in Iowa. Class D felonies carry a maximum five-year prison sentence and a $75,000 fine.
Braden told Schilling he could present the state’s case is just over two days. Braden shared with Schilling and Dial that he plans on filing motions to address the cause of Salvarado’s injuries and how they relate to the defendant’s conduct, as well as a motion as to whether an accident occurred by definition of code.
Braden also informed the judge and the defense that he also planned to present testimony as to alleged alcohol consumption prior to the accident that occurred according to reports during the night of Aug. 4th or the early morning hours of Aug. 5. He said he also plans on calling a state medical examiner during the trial.
“The state may intend to illicit testimony as to alcohol consumption by the defendant and that would be for the purpose for establishing motive to leave the scene of the accident,” Braden said Friday morning.
Dial said he plans on the defensive being able to get the case to the jury, which would indicate that he would only need less than a day to present the defense’s case in the trial.
Dial said he also planned on filing pretrial motions but didn’t elaborate on the purpose of the motions. Schilling set a deadline for Wednesday Nov. 21 for any motions to be filed in North Lee County Court and set the hearing on all the motions for 10:30 a.m on the 27th.