"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Monday, November 30th, 2015
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
- 9:41:05, Nov 27th 2015 - WoW - As a long time reader of your paper I think it should stay how it is. It's a ch ... [Read More]
- 1:35:05, Nov 26th 2015 - consaredumb - The most vocal people are always the most ignorant. ... [Read More]
- 2:58:00, Nov 25th 2015 - James1952 - The word on the street is that the folks who own the land above the schoo ... [Read More]
- 10:17:32, Nov 25th 2015 - - Yes it does take money to operate schools and keep buildings open. If the high s ... [Read More]
- 9:09:47, Nov 25th 2015 - @Says - Bottom line... it takes money to operate & keep open school buildings. Yes, I ... [Read More]
- 7:57:56, Nov 25th 2015 - nature man - I think y'all are in denial. Atrazine in all your well, shallow aquifer ... [Read More]
- 10:20:12, Nov 24th 2015 - - It's about the money? What an ignorant comment. Is that what you teach your kid ... [Read More]
- 9:20:20, Nov 24th 2015 - reader - What an inspiring message! Thank you! ... [Read More]
- 8:07:37, Nov 24th 2015 - Stan Gudmundson - I've never responded to any comments made about anything I've writt ... [Read More]
- 8:02:03, Nov 24th 2015 - Stan Gudmundson - I've never responded to any comments made about anything I've writt ... [Read More]
Fri, Jun 13th, 2003
Posted in Features
Posted in Features
On Tuesday, June 10, the defense attorney for former Lanesboro Police Chief John Tuchek presented oral arguments before the Minnesota Court of Appeals asking that Tuchek’s sentence be reduced.
Tuchek was convicted of eight counts of first degree arson in the April 2002 “hero fire” that destroyed three buildings in Lanesboro’s historic downtown district. Tuchek set the fire so that he could rescue the occupants and win the heart of an ex-girlfriend. Tuchek was sentenced to six years in prison (an upward departure of 50%) and ordered to pay an estimated $800,000 in restitution to his victims. During Tuchek’s trial the defense rested without calling any witnesses, arguing that the state had failed to prove their case. At the time, defense attorney Mark Kurzman told the court that Tuchek was guilty of a lesser charge, fifth-degree arson, rather than the first degree charges where intent must be proven. Fifth degree arson carries a sentence of 90 days in jail. The defense maintained at the time that Tuchek started cardboard on a trailer on fire, not cardboard close to the building. In October of 2002, the defense filed a motion for a new trial which was later denied. At that time Kurzman argued that the court had turned down the defense’s request to call a witness who claims to be able to back up Tuchek’s story that the fire started on a trailer. In their brief to the Appeals Court, the defense maintains that there was insufficient evidence to convict Tuchek of first degree arson and that Tuchek was deprived of due process when the witness was not allowed to testify. Kurzman is seeking to have the Court of Appeals reduce Tuchek’s sentence to the lesser charge of fifth degree arson; and if not, to reduce the existing sentence by 1/3 to four years in prison. The state was represented by Assistant State Attorney General John Galus. In his brief, Galus countered Kurzman’s arguments, contending that the defense had ample opportunity to call witnesses. He also maintained that the upward departure in sentencing was appropriate given the multiple victims. A ruling by the state Court of Appeals is expected by the end of summer.