Homicide suspect’s movement for dismissal denied; man will stay in custody till trial

IONIA – A Clarksville man accused of killing his girlfriend’s two-year-old son last year will be held in Ionia County jail after an Ionia County judge denied his release Tuesday morning.

Matthew Rademacher, 27, of Clarksville, lower right, cries Tuesday when he learns that Ionia County District Court Judge Ronald Schafer, upper left, has denied his motion to dismiss and release him on a personal guarantee of recognition. Rademacher’s attorney Nicole Samuel (bottom left) speaks to the court from the podium, while Lori Bonn, probation officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections, top right, listens to the trial via Zoom. Rademacher appeared in court through Polycom from the Ionia County Jail. – DN Photo | Karen Bota

Nicole Samuel, a defense attorney at Dillon & Samuel in East Lansing, stated that her client, Matthew Rademacher, 27, has been in jail since his arrest on September 18, 2020 and that the delay in bringing the matter against the jury was against the jury constitutional right to expeditious proceedings.

Rademacher is charged with murder and first-degree child abuse in the death of Colton Sceviour.

Ionia County Sheriff’s Assistant Jacob Sommer said during Rademacher’s nearly six-hour preliminary investigation in Ionia County District Court in January, Rademacher told the MP that he gave Colton some crackers and left the room. Rademacher said when he returned he found that the child was choking and struggling to breathe. Rademacher said he called 911 when he was unable to resuscitate the child.

The testimony of the forensic pathologist who performed Colton’s autopsy the same day he died provided a different explanation. Dr. Stephen Cohle explained the boy’s cause of death as traumatic brain injury – a serious head injury. He also noted that the boy had several other bruises on his body, some of which were normal for a toddler, but some of which were “troubling and troubling”.

Matthew Rademacher

Michigan Court Rule 6.004 requires a defendant to be tried on a crime charge within 180 days of his or her incarceration, unless there is good cause for the delay. If there is no valid reason, the remedy consists of a precautionary dismissal of the indictment, i.

An alternative to firing was to fire Rademacher on a personal guarantee of recognition until his trial date is set, Samuel told Ionia County District Court Judge Ronald Schafer. One good reason for the delay, noted Samuel, does not include the “document overload” caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the backlog of legal proceedings this has resulted in.

“In this case, the file is obviously overloaded because the studies have been delayed because of COVID-19,” she said. “Overloading the coffers is excluded and, according to the wording of the law, cannot be considered an important reason.”

Samuel said nine months – or 269 days – had passed since her client was arrested, which is “certainly more than 180 days.” She admitted that while the defense requested two of the delays because they had received no pertinent evidence, 176 days had passed since Rademacher’s arrest. There is no trial to take place in the next four days.

“The reason for the delay is beyond the defendant’s control,” said Samuel. “The defendant cannot help the fact that a global pandemic is afoot. His fault is that the discovery was not revealed in time. … This is the second time that we have been here with this motion and he has exercised his right to a speedy process. “

Samuel argued that the delay was detrimental to her client, who she said had anxiety and depression and anorexia. He did not eat for a while because he was detained and separated from his family and support system. She said the delay was also detrimental to the defense team, who couldn’t see her client while he was in jail.

“There is one person who doesn’t seem to eat anything anymore,” the judge said quietly, referring to the 2-year-old victim. “I don’t know the court has a lot of sympathy for anxiety and depression. … So someone in prison has a little bit of anxiety and depression, and that has something to do with being released? “

“These are very serious allegations. … But at this point there are charges and my client is considered innocent, “replied Samuel.

“He is. I agree,” said Schäfer.

“It is not the defendant’s fault that 180 days have passed. According to the title of the law, he is entitled to trial, dismissal or release from a public relations bond, ”summarized Samuel.

Ionia County Attorney Kyle Butler agreed to Samuel that after the 93 days attributed to the defense request for a delay, 176 of the 180 days remained. He told the court that “the duration and reason” for the delay was coronavirus.

“We haven’t been stalled by anyone but the COVID-19 pandemic,” Butler said. “The court has moved fairly quickly, given the entirety of the circumstances surrounding the charges against the defendant.”

Cases were negotiated, but not as quickly as before, and older cases are “higher on the ladder” than Rademacher’s and were scheduled earlier than his.

“Unless COVID-19 is a good cause and the lawsuits drop during the pandemic, I’m not sure what will rise to those levels,” Butler said.

Schafer called the matter “not an issue” and said he realized that the case would shortly exceed the 180-day window. The only reason – “and the only reason” for the delay, however, is the pandemic.

The courts of first instance are required to issue instructions from the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court has ordered since the beginning of the pandemic that the courts cannot conduct face-to-face jury trials without adhering to certain parameters, Schafer said.

“It’s no different in this county than any other county in Michigan,” said Schafer, citing a comment by Samuel that she had attended multiple jury trials in other counties and that she understood some trials in Ionia County .

“To the extent that during the pandemic we met the parameters of the Supreme Court and had the opportunity to do some jury selections and some jury trials, we have to close on rising and falling numbers, and that is why we are here,” continued Schäfer. “We are currently authorized to hold jury selections and trials, and we have.”

When shepherd Samuel said he refused, Rademacher, who appeared in court via Polycom from prison, put his face in his left hand and began to cry. He leaned forward in his chair and could hear crying as the judge continued.

“There will be a delay. I don’t know when you will have a jury selection, as there are still several cases ahead, but we will do so as soon as possible, ”said Schäfer. “I assume it will be in the near future and we will take this to court.”


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