In Your NeighborhoodDeWitt - St. Johns


Clinton County judge ordered prosecutor's office to pay defense attorneys $1,200 for withholding evidence

Clinton County Courthouse
Posted at 9:12 AM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 09:12:44-04

CLINTON COUNTY, Mich. — Clinton County Circuit Court Judge Shannon Schlegel has ordered Clinton County Prosecutor Tony Spagnuolo's office to reimburse a defense attorney's office $1,200 for withholding evidence requested by that attorney's office three different times.

The case is against Yiming Deng, a Michigan State University engineering professor, who was charged with one count of first degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct back in September. The case stems from an alleged assault that happened in July of last year.

Deng is represented by Okemos defense attorneys Mary Chartier and Kurt Krause. According to court documents, on June 28, the defense team issued their third motion to compel discovery, which Krause called, "flat-out rididculous."

Michigan court rules require evidence to be delivered to the defense team within 21 days of a request.

The evidence they had been asking for was everything related to a phone call made by the woman accusing Deng of sexual assault. The call was made to Bath Township police back in March and was followed by a welfare check.

Assistant Prosecutor Heather Adamo said she wasn't aware of the crisis call made to police in March, as it was referenced in a Title IX filing that she did not have and, in her opinion, the two are completely separate cases.

In her response Adamo wrote, "Defendant Yiming Deng possesses all of the same discovery material that the Clinton County Prosecutor's Office does. The prosecutor's office informed Deng and this court of such after providing additional discovery after the first request in this court...The additional material requested here is no part of the criminal case."

Krause argued that the criminal allegations of this case are, "the very basis of her complaint within the MSU Title IX proceedings."

Circuit Court Judge Shannon Schlegel agreed and issued the $1,200 fine.

She said she came to that number by charging the prosecutor's office for two hours in Deng's attorney fees, which they spent filing this third motion. The payment must be made within 30 days of that decision.

Diming's jury trial is set to start Sept. 28.

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Russell Shellberg

5:49 PM, Jun 03, 2022

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Russell Shellberg

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