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For immediate release - Tuesday, December 9, 2003.

Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699.

Statement of the Attorney General's Office
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Proceedings suspended in
State v. Charles Griggs,
former Webster County Sheriff

Statement of the Attorney General's Office:

District Court Judge Michael Moon today suspended proceedings in the case of State of Iowa v. Charles Edward Griggs, former Webster County Sheriff, finding that Griggs is not competent to stand trial.

Today in open court Judge Moon received a medical report by the University of Iowa Hospitals finding that Griggs is cognitively impaired as a result of cerebral vascular disease and is unable to assist in his defense. Because of Griggs' incompetence to stand trial, all proceedings were suspended.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas H. Miller, who handled the case for the Attorney General's Office, said he would have preferred to resolve the case on its merits, but that the matter could not proceed to trial when the court has found the defendant is not competent to assist in his defense. Miller said his office had consulted an independent expert who concurred in the findings of the U of I Hospitals report. Miller is head of the Attorney General's Area Prosecutions Division.

The University Hospitals report was issued December 2. Griggs, age 64, had a serious stroke in 1992, and his health has been deteriorating. On May 13, the Attorney General's Office filed a three-count criminal trial information. Trial had been set to begin Dec. 9 in Fort Dodge.

Sheriff Griggs resigned from office effective Sept. 30, 2003.

Webster County Attorney Tim Schott asked the Attorney General's Office to handle the matter to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

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