My name is Erika Henry Randall, first Assistant Hubbard County Attorney. I have worked for Don Dearstyne, Hubbard County Attorney for 4 years. We file approximately 1,300 felony cases, gross misdemeanors and misdemeanors cases per year. In 2009 through September 2010, 16 cases were dismissed by our office. Five were prosecuted in other jurisdictions such as the Akeley bank robber. Nine cases were recharged after further investigation and two were dismissed because DNA evidence received showed the defendants could not have committed the crime.
We use plea offers to resolve cases favorably for the state and the victim. Mr. Welte is telling the citizens of this county that he will eliminate plea bargains. He has not offered any plan on how to do that. In my seven years in the county attorney's office I can say that we are trying more cases in the last four years with better results than we obtained in my first three years in the office. This year Don Dearstyne has successfully tried four felony trials obtaining convictions in all four. The Assistant County Attorneys have tried several gross misdemeanors and misdemeanors jury and court trials. Trying all the felony cases would require more court rooms, attorneys and judges which would be a huge financial burden to the citizens of Hubbard County. Based on the number of felony cases we charge out, there would be two trials going every day.
Mr. Welte has not talked about his record regarding plea agreements. In 2007 Mr. Welte was the Park Rapids Assistant City Prosecutor, 100% of his cases, which were misdemeanors, were resolved through plea agreements. In 2008, 2009 and through September of 2010 Mr. Welte has filed only 128 cases in District Courts. During that same time period, our office filed over 3000 cases. I have concerns about Mr. Welte's ability to handle this large number of cases.
The Hubbard County Attorney's office needs someone with the experience to handle the job and that candidate is Don Dearstyne. I urge the citizens of Hubbard County to re-elect Don Dearstyne Nov. 2.
Hubbard County Assistant County Attorney