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Lettner appears in court

Fri, Jun 29th, 2007
Posted in Court

PRESTON - Ryan Lettner, a former Chatfield Police Officer, waived his right to an omnibus hearing in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, June 25. Accompanied by Attorney Gary Gittus of Rochester, Lettner pled not guilty to all charges. He has requested a jury trial.

Lettner was arrested in November 2004, along with Jesse Alan Nelson and John Mark Olson. According to court documents, it is alleged that the three men were involved in a number of thefts from construction sites in the Chatfield area between July and November 2004. The items were later sold on the Internet auction site Ebay. These thefts occurred while Lettner was a police officer and it is alleged that he used his capacity as a law enforcement officer to assist his two accomplices. It is expected that Nelson and Olson will testify against Lettner at trial.

The charges against Lettner are contained in three court files. Special Prosecutor Richard Jackson, Jr. will try Lettner firstly for receiving stolen property and liability for crimes of another. It is alleged that Lettner gave stolen property to a cement contractor for work done at Lettner's residence. The trial is scheduled to begin on July 23 and is expected to last four days.

When asked by Judge Robert Benson if additional trials needed to be scheduled, Jackson said, "The outcome of the first trial will significantly impact on whether there is a need for an additional trial or whether a resolution can be reached."

A questionnaire will be sent out to prospective jurors seeking information about relationships and any pre-trial publicity.

A pre-trial hearing has been set for July 9 at 11:00 a.m. at which time any final motions will be heard and jury selection will be discussed.

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