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May 26, 2019

4/25/2019 9:48:00 AM
Retrial scheduled for Ridgeway shooting case
For the last year and a half, Iowa County has been aware of a reckless homicide case that took place in the village of Ridgeway.
This case goes back to the drawing board, as Iowa County District Attorney Larry Nelson has requested a retrial.
On March 24, 2018 Austin D. Valdez, shot and killed his stepfather Robin Reeson, in what he claimed was self defense.
On the night of the shooting it was alleged that Robin, according to Valdez, was abusive towards his mother Melanie. Robin had come home from the tavern around 1 a.m. In Valdez's testimony, Robin was angry that the toilet water was running, and Valdez had never seen Robin so angry. Valdez was in his room after the incident happened.
Around 2:30 a.m. Melanie had come home from the same tavern, and Valdez had told her not to wake up Robin, because of the situation earlier. Melanie a few minutes later was with Robin on the couch making love with him. Moments later, Valdez heard the fishtank break, grabbed his 30-30 rifle near his bed and went to the landing of the stairs.
According to Valdez's testimony, he saw Robin standing over the couch with his hands over Melanie's neck as if he was choking her.
After Valdez said, "Robin, that's enough," Robin made his way towards the stairs to Austin.
It was when Robin was at the third step, that Valdez lifted his gun to shoot. Valdez said that he shot Robin in the shoulder, but he did not want to kill him.
Valdez was charged with 2nd degree reckless homicide in April of last year, which then was changed to 1st degree in January of this year.
D.A. Nelson charged Valdez with 1st degree, because he argues that Valdez acted out of disregard for human life. Valdez's attorney Jeremiah Wolfgang Meyer O'Day argued that Valdez acted in self defense of himself, and that he was protecting his mother Melanie.
A jury trial took place in the first week of February. The honorable Judge Craig Day took the case, due to Judge William Andrew Sharp recovering from injuries.
After four days of testimonies, and a jury view of the scene, jury members were in deliberation on the last day until Friday evening. The jury was not able to come to a unanimous decision, thus resulting in a mistrial.
Valdez, with Meyer O'Day, was in court for a status conference on Thursday April 11. It was then decided that the case will go to trial once again. Judge Sharp will preside over the case, after he reviews the trial transcripts that have been ordered. There was discussion of a possible change in venue, but as of now, it is yet to be determined if that will happen.
Jury trial is set for July 29, 2019, at 9 a.m. and proceedings are expected to end August 2. Motions from both attorneys must be filed by July 3, and a motion hearing is scheduled for July 12 at 9:30 a.m.

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