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Trial of Former Police Chief Set for December

Sep 10, 2015

The trial for former Donnellson Police Chief William Sackett is now scheduled for Dec. 9 in the North Lee County Courthouse in Fort Madison. Sackett is accused of simple domestic abuse assault following an incident at his home in May.

The trial date has changed several times, set initially for Sept. 2 before being pushed back to Oct. 14. The latest delay was approved by Judge Emily Dean following a telephone hearing Tuesday morning.  She agreed to the change because Sackett's attorney has a conflict on Oct. 14.

Sackett resigned as police chief the day after his arrest. At the time, Jim Sholl, Lee County Sheriff, said the victim suffered injuries from broken glass but did no require hospitalization.

William Sackett
Credit Lee County Sheriff's Office

Dean also scheduled a hearing for Nov. 3 on a motion by Abe Watkins, Van Buren County Attorney. Watkins is handling the case at the request of the Lee County Attorney's office.

Watkins wants the court to decide whether several pieces of evidence can be admitted during trial.

  • 911 call from the night of the incident
  • Victim's statement to a sheriff's deputy recorded by a dashboard camera
  • Victim's recorded statement at the sheriff's office

Court records show Watkins' motion follows two attempts by the victim to recant her testimony about the night in question.

Watkins previously attempted to charge Sackett with a more serious crime: serious domestic abuse assault. But he dropped the new charge shortly after it was filed. Watkins declined comment to Tri States Public Radio at the time because the case was ongoing.