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home : latest news : local February 5, 2016

5/29/2012 6:01:00 AM
Van Brunt defense launches offensive
County attorney, accuser credibility attacked in multiple motions
Don Van Brunt
Don Van Brunt

Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter

The defense attorney representing Don Van Brunt in his child molestation case has filed multiple motions to have charges dismissed or remanded back to the grand jury.

Attorney Michael Bailey of Scottsdale said the case against Van Brunt is littered with problems concerning the County Attorney's handling of the case and takes issue with the credibility ofone of Van Brunt's accusers.

Van Brunt, 82, was indicted by a grand jury earlier this year on charges of molestation of a child and sexual conduct with a minor based on accusations made by his grandsons.

In one of his court filings, Bailey said one of the grandsons is the same one who burglarized Van Brunt's home on three occasions in 2010 and 2011. Bailey alleged that a total of $4,000 was taken during the first two thefts and that Van Brunt's safe was stolen outright during the third, after which Van Brunt finally reported the incidents to the Mohave County Sheriff's Office.

Bailey took issue with the same grandson's claims of abuse, saying that he didn't mention several allegations he claimed previously to relatives. At another time the accuser was said to have denied any abuse at all occurred, Bailey said.

Bailey said Van Brunt was recovering from cancer surgery during the time he is alleged to have committed some of the acts and that he was physically incapable of the conduct described.

Another of Bailey's motions charges the County Attorney's Office, and specifically Prosecutor Victoria Stazio, with stepping outside of her scope and acting as an investigator in the case. Bailey questions why Stazio continued an independent investigation into the allegations when a previous investigation by the Sheriff's Office determined the allegations to be unfounded.

Bailey also questions why a man Van Brunt considers to be "a longtime nemesis" was interviewed in the case and allowed to provide potential evidence when the man has no known connection to the case.

Mission Bank
Related Stories:
• Jury: Van Brunt not guilty of molestation charges
• Closing arguments coming in Van Brunt abuse trial
• Molestation trial of former Kingman business leader under way
• Molestation trial faces former leading citizen
• Attorney: Critical elements of Van Brunt case left out
• Former political leader pleads not guilty to child molestation charges
• Don Van Brunt indicted for molestation

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Katie Sparks

Hearsay can destroy lives. Remember the old game, telephone, when one person whispers to another a statement and then the words are repeated to another, then another? Finally, the last person tells the group what he heard to be true. Rarely is the original statement reproduced.

Drug addiction is a disease. Drug addicts will do anything to perpetuate their supply of drugs. An addict who is desperate for money will steal, lie and cheat without any consciousness to manipulate anyone who listens to them, especially family members. Families can be fraught with despair as they watch their children destroy their lives with drugs. It’s hard to believe that your loved ones would lie to you and even steal to get their fix. Even sophisticated and intelligent people are confused by the reckless behavior of an addict.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much life experience you have with all kinds of people, when it comes to a relationship with a family member who is an addict. No one wants to take the blame for their actions, especially the addict. Their deception breeds sadness and heartbreak – for everyone involved. They can launch a lie that spins out of control, and even they are confused about the real story. It their mind, a story is a story - a means to an end - money and drugs.

A fictionalized story that destroys their families when they are older, vulnerable and so eager to help is truly pathetic. The sadness of betrayal can destroy and break families. A story is not just a story. Let the truth prevail. It is what every family deserves.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: The Truth is All that Matters Vengenance is Mine Says the Lord

The True is all that matters. It is best to let this run it's course and the truth whatever it may be will come out. Everyone has their opinions for their own reason. Once this over it will allow closure and healing for all.

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Article comment by: Common Sense

How dare you insult Doris and Bill Goodale over the acts of their GROWN children.

I hope you never have to stand accountable for something one of your grown children may do.

Doris and Bill committed NO CRIME. To think otherwise is ignorant.

Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Article comment by: Beth Romelsbacher

And Doris Goodale and her husband are receiving the same good ol boy treatment. Why were they not arrested. Their homes, their children, their jeep (not impounded for evidence just given back to Doris). If they cannot recognize what is happening in their own homes I certainly do not want their representation.

Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Article comment by: Bonnie Kidd

[Comment deleted for excessive length]

Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Article comment by: This Will Never Go To Trial

I do not know if Van Brunt is guilt however I have little doubt that a fancy, smart lawyer from the big city will run rings around our local government attorneys. I won't be a bit surprised if the charges are dropped before the trial ever takes place.

Usually the city and county attorneys back down quickly when challenged by those that know how to strong arm. This leaves them plenty of time to go after the weak and poor not able to hire an adequate legal defense.

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