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Metal, tool theft trial to stay in Floyd County

Metal, tool theft trial to stay in Floyd County

Linderman to face jury beginning Dec. 17

A former Charles City man charged in multiple thefts will not have his trial moved out of Floyd County.

Randy Louis Linderman’s public defender filed motions for a change of venue arguing that due to extensive media coverage of these and past cases involving Linderman, he can’t get a fair trial in Floyd County.

Linderman, 50, has been charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, one count of third-degree theft and failure to comply with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. He is accused of stealing tons of scrap metal as well as tools from various sites in Charles City.

Linderman has a criminal history that involves more thefts and sexual abuse. He also was the subject of an ombudsman’s report saying he was mistreated by personnel in the Iowa Department of Corrections during his incarceration.

“The court finds that the media coverage which was provided to the court is factual in nature, does not provide an opinion as to the the defendant’s guilt or innocence and is not inflammatory,” Floyd County District Court Judge Peter Newell ruled Nov. 18. “The court finds that the defendant has not established that the defendant cannot obtain a fair trial in Floyd County.”

Linderman’s jury trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., Dec. 17, at the Floyd County Courthouse.

Public Defender Nellie O’Mara filed her motions in September saying, “Since the Defendant’s arrest on this case, there has been extensive media publicity surrounding this case and past cases, including one involving Iowa Prison Systems that involved the Defendant.”

“Due to the extensive media coverage, such a degree of prejudice exists in Floyd County that there is a substantial likelihood that a fair and impartial trial cannot be preserved with a jury selected,” she said. A state ombudsman’s conclusion that Department of Corrections officials violated policies and Linderman’s rights when they disciplined him for bumping a guard in 2008 was reported in newspapers statewide through The Associated Press. Linderman completed his sentence in 2014 on theft and assault charges, prior to the ombudsman’s report.

In an AP story, Linderman was quoted saying: “I hope the report does some good, but the reality is, it won’t.”

County Attorney Rachel Ginbey in her motion resisting a change of venue said newspaper articles O’Mara presented only reported factual information and did not opine as to his guilt. “The defendant points to nothing in the articles provided by his counsel that is inaccurate, misleading or obviously intended to inflame the public against him,” Ginbey stated.

Linderman had previously been convicted of two felonies in Polk County — seconddegree burglary in 1983 and first-degree robbery in 1984.

In Floyd County, he was convicted in February 2001 of second-degree theft and in July 2001 of third-degree sexual abuse.

By Chris Baldus [email protected]

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