Quanrude denied release on signature bond after bond review hearing; Jury trial now scheduled for June 6

John Quanrude ...
John Quanrude ...

by Joe Moses

The Second Degree Murder case against 32-year-old John Michael Quanrude of Waukon involved a bit more court and document activity this past week, including review of a requested change and some necessary changes made upon further document review. Although separate matters not impacting one another, the end result was Quanrude remaining in the Allamakee County Jail but his trial date being moved up by more than two months.

Following an application request by his defense attorney, a bond review court hearing for Quanrude was held Monday, May 14 at the Allamakee County Courthouse in Waukon. Quanrude’s bond had been previously set at $100,000 cash only as he awaits trial in relation to the April 16 fatal shooting of Dean Russell of Waukon. District Court Judge Richard D. Stochl presided over the hearing with Attorney Scott J. Nelson from the Iowa State Defender’s Office, Dubuque location representing Quanrude, who was also in attendance at the hearing but did not testify. Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler represented the State of Iowa in the matter.

Nelson advised that he was not presenting evidence but would be addressing the court regarding matters pertaining to Quanrude’s $100,000 cash only bond. Nelson discussed that Quanrude has been a lifelong resident of Waukon except for time spent out of the area earning a college degree and a short period working in Minnesota, with members of his family and extended family currently living in this area. Nelson indicated that Quanrude has shown no past issues with failing to appear and cited charges stemming from marijuana possession and trespassing, for which Quanrude had appeared without fail for previous court proceedings.

Nelson further discussed that this incident, although very serious, was clearly related to the use of a large quantity of methamphetamine, with Quanrude’s own testimony and recollection of events being very foggy as to what happened. Nelson further noted the potential psychological issues involved with this matter and the end result of this matter being related to the drug issue.

Nelson suggested that Quanrude is not a danger to the community and could be released on a signature bond, required to live with his aunt in Waukon on pre-trial release and continue to undergo drug testing and psychological evaluation. Nelson requested that the court allow Quanrude to be released on signature bond or have the bond reduced to allow for his release until his trial begins.

Kistler requested to present evidence during the hearing and questioned Officer Jeremy Wicks of the Waukon Police Department regarding his involvement in this case, as he was the first officer on the scene of the April 16 shooting and was also responsible for transporting Quanrude to the Waukon Police Station following the incident.

Wicks testified that Quanrude had attempted to escape custody while at the police station immediately following the shooting and also advised of Quanrude’s failure to appear for arraignment August 15, 2011 on a previous lesser charge.

Wicks indicated that Quanrude had recently returned to the Waukon area this past mid-winter and had been previously residing in another state. Kistler questioned Wicks about the search warrant issued for Quanrude’s cell phone and the text messages that were discovered and concerns relating to the safety of the community. Wicks advised of several threatening text messages mentioning violence and firearms.

Wicks further discussed concerns relating to Quanrude’s mental condition, citing the monitoring of communications that has taken place since his recent incarceration, including a letter stating, “Mom, I really want to see you again.” Wicks indicated that the concern relates to the fact that Quanrude’s mother is deceased.

Wicks also responded to questions from Nelson, agreeing that he did not have special training related to psychiatry or psychology to assess someone with a mental condition and that he could not provide context to the text messages discussed earlier in his testimony. Wicks agreed that Quanrude exhibited signs of drug use and mental health issues during the initial arrest. Wicks also agreed that he was able to control Quanrude quickly during his attempts to escape custody within the Waukon Police Station.

During closing remarks, Kistler recommended against reducing the bond, which would stay at $100,000 cash only. Kistler cited concerns including Quanrude’s mental state and drug use, describing his character as being that of a disturbed and violent individual, which the State views as a flight risk. Nelson did not have any closing remarks.

Following his brief consideration, Judge Stochl’s decision on the matter was to continue the bail and conditions as previously set at the $100,000 cash only bond.

Prior to the May 14 bond review hearing, First Judicial District Court Judge John Bauercamper had issued a new order, filed Friday, May 10, changing Quanrude’s jury trial date in his Second Degree Murder case to Wednesday, June 6 from its earlier ordered August 22 date following Quanrude’s written arraignment and plea of not guilty filed with the Allamakee County District Court May 2. Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler explained that the change in the trial date was a result of Quanrude’s choice to either waive or demand a speedy trial (within 90 days of trial information being filed) being initially misinterpreted by First Judicial District Court Judge Richard Stochl, who had set the August 22 trial date following his interpretation that Quanrude had waived his right to a speedy trial when Quanrude had, instead, demanded his right to a speedy trial.

With that new order in place, a pre-trial conference has also been set for Wednesday, May 30. Both the pre-trial conference and the June 6 jury trial in the case are scheduled for a 10 a.m. start in Allamakee County District Court in Waukon.

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