A Black Hawk County jury has issued a guilty verdict in the case of a local mayor and his nephew.
Shortly before noon on Thursday, Dunkerton Mayor Mike Schares and his nephew Tom Adamson were found guilty of harassing Dunkerton Police Officer Robert Roquet during a traffic stop in December.
It took the jury less than an hour to reach its verdict. Both Schares and Adamson showed little emotion as the verdict was read.
Assistant county attorney Brian Williams says he was happy with the jury's decision. He said it shows vindication for officer Roquet.
Mayor Schares had no comment regarding the verdict. He only said that he will appeal the courts decision.
Before the verdict was read the jury heard closing arguments. Assistant County Attorney Brian Williams started by saying the incident involving Schares and Adamson was an abuse of authority and showed an overwhelming sense of entitlement.
He took the jury through the definition of interference and asked, "Could anyone else interject themselves in that situation like the mayor did."
Defense attorney Michael Bandy said that Williams is speculating on what happened. Bandy said the video showed the facts and Schares did not have any contact with Roquet that could be inferred as harassment.
Defense attorney Thomas Frerichs says this case is simple. He says no one interfered or stopped officer Roquet from issuing the citation. He said that Roquet even testified to that.
The defense has also questioned why Roquet shut off his dash cam video during the stop. Roquet testified that it was policy to shut off the camera if there wasn't any trouble during a stop.
The defense says that Roquet might have purposely shut off the camera because he did not want something recorded. Roquet said that he felt threatened during the traffic so the defense asked why he turned off the tape if he felt threatened.
Sentencing for Schares and Adamson will be at a later date. Attorney Michael Bandy has already asked the judge for a deferred judgment for his client Mike Schares.
Schares and Adamson face 30 days in jail for each count and a maximum fine of $625 for interference and a maximum fine of $625 for harassment as well.
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