Motion In Ritenour Case Set Aside
Oskaloosa, Iowa – The lawyer for Alicia Ritenour, Ken Duker, made a motion to the Mahaska County District Court to set aside a bond modification against his client.
On February 12th, Ritenour was released from custody after posting the required surety bond set by Magistrate Judge Scott Campbell at her initial appearance.
Duker’s motion involved the new bond amount set by District Judge Randy DeGeest to $500,000 on the charge of Murder in the First Degree, up from the original amount of $100,000. Duker in his motion stated, ” After the Defendant bonded out on said amounts, the District Court changed the amounts without any indication as to why and modified bond without hearing and without an opportunity for due process.”
In his motion, Duker goes on to say, “There has been no change of circumstance to provide for a change in the amount of bond.”
The 14th Amendment was the basis of Duker’s argument, saying, “Said modification of bond without a hearing violates the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and Section 9 of the Iowa Constitution, specifically the Due Process clauses of each Constitution.”
A hearing on January 21st with the State of Iowa was represented by Assistant County Attorney Amy E. Zenor and Charles Stream and the defendant Alicia Ritenour was represented by her attorney Kenneth Duker with Ritenour also present.
During the hearing, no evidence was produced, but the attorneys did make oral arguments.
Ultimately, the Motion to Set Aside Bond Modification was denied.
When the bond amount had been changed, Ritenour’s family wrote a letter to the court about the increase in the bond amount. In the letter they expressed how the families and extended families had, “scraped, borrowed, and put up properties to get her bond together.”
Ritenour, as stated, was released on bond February 12th. The family said, “When we got her out, she did everything she was required to do. Checked in with the Bondman, checked in with her Attorneys, provided address and phone number of where she could be located.”
“Yet 24 hrs. later she was rearrested and the bond raised from the 100,000.00, you [Judge Scott Campbell] set, to 500,000.00. Our family is not rich and we called in all the favors to raise the money needed, and family put up their houses to insure that she show up for court,” the family stated in their letter.
“Our family and friends believe in the innocence of our daughter and we want to get to the truth of what happened to our Grandbaby as much if not more than anyone out there. Our hearts and spirits are broken. First we lost our granddaughter and now our daughter is in jail for her murder. Alicia had no criminal record before this and we request that the original bail amount of 125,000.00 be honored and our daughter be released on the original bond amount that was placed for her,” the letter stated.
Ritenour filed a written plea of Not Guilty on Friday, also waiving her right to a speedy trial. An initial trial date of July 8, 2014 has been set.
Alicia Ritenour has been accused of Murder in the 1st Degree, a Class “A” Felony and Child Endangerment Resulting In Death, a Class “B” Felony.
A criminal charge is merely a criminal charge and not an indication of guilt. All suspects should be considered innocent until proven guilty.