No trial date set as Kasemeier’s attorney withdraws as legal counsel; New review hearing now scheduled for August 19

The setting of a new trial date has been put on hold in the First Degree Murder case of Brandon Kasemeier, the 40-year-old man from Waukon charged in the January 21 death of his estranged wife, Jami Kasemeier. That delay came as a result of action taken during a Monday, July 1 review hearing in Allamakee County District Court.

That delay stems from the fact that Kasemeier had to have a new public defender appointed to him after his original public defender, Aaron Hawbaker of Waterloo, filed a motion to withdraw as legal counsel for Kasemeier. Hawbaker filed that motion June 18, following ensuing discussions with his client after Kasemeier had withdrawn a plea of guilty to Murder in the Second Degree in the case at a June 10 hearing. In that motion document filed in Allamakee County District Court, Hawbaker cited a phone conversation with Kasemeier of more than 30 minutes that June 18 morning, noting that “it is clear from this conversation that there has been a serious breakdown in the attorney-client relationship.”

That motion to withdraw as counsel was then ordered by First District Court of Iowa Judge Alan Heavens to become part of the July 1 review hearing. At that July 1 hearing held via Zoom web-conferencing software, with Kasemeier in attendance virtually from the Allamakee County Public Safety Center and Judge Heavens in his chambers at the Allamakee County Courthouse, Hawbaker furthered his reasoning for filing the motion for his withdrawal as counsel, noting that his conversations with Kasemeier since his June 10 plea withdrawal have “devolved to the point where I think the critical factor in representing anybody... trust... went away, for whatever reasons. Based on the conversations I had, then, I felt compelled - and I think, too, unless there’s been a change of heart, it’s Mr. Kasemeier’s request - that I be removed as his attorney.”
Judge Heavens then asked Kasemeier to confirm that the attorney-client relationship he has with Hawbaker has broken down, and that he would like a different attorney to represent him. Kasemeier replied, “Yes.”

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