"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
- 8:58:49, Mar 10th 2014 - dan - Great letter Steve! That is attitude we should be taking, alternatives will be ... [Read More]
- 3:44:17, Mar 7th 2014 - Robert - Fossil fuels are damaging are resources, polluting are air & water and destr ... [Read More]
- 12:32:02, Mar 7th 2014 - - "Turks suffered at the hands of Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia. Hundreds of thousand ... [Read More]
- 7:38:38, Mar 5th 2014 - bootscoot21 - Thank you Dr. Van Gorp for this complete look at what our generation is ... [Read More]
- 8:39:53, Mar 4th 2014 - email@example.com - Excellent commentary, very thoughtful. Although quite len ... [Read More]
- 9:54:09, Mar 1st 2014 - - We have lost a good friend from Harmony High school class of 1970. I have many goo ... [Read More]
- 9:48:08, Mar 1st 2014 - - Rest in Peace Loenard ... [Read More]
- 9:14:19, Feb 25th 2014 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Eric, I don't know if you remember me but I am Erik Paulsen's M ... [Read More]
- 8:58:12, Feb 25th 2014 - jjoyengel - You are both wonderful people! You have and are doing something not just ... [Read More]
- 3:16:25, Feb 24th 2014 - TY - THANK YOU FCJ! I am not sure any of this would have happened without the excelle ... [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.