Holdgrafer's attorney wants trial relocated
Andrew woman is charged with child endangerment resulting in death after her 4-year-old adopted son drowned in June.
BY MARY NEVANS-PEDERSON
MAQUOKETA, Iowa -- Danielle Holdgrafer's attorney Friday asked a judge to move his client's trial outside of Jackson County and to have her tried separately on similar counts.
Judge Marleta Greve said she would review all arguments and issue rulings in two to three weeks.
Holdgrafer, 30, is charged with child endangerment resulting in death and two counts of child endangerment causing bodily injury. The Andrew mother had been charged with drowning her 4-year-old adopted son in June, but that charge was dropped after her husband, Andrew Holdgrafer, 31, died in September of a heart attack. He also had been charged with child endangerment resulting in death.
The slight, pony-tailed defendant looked on the verge of tears several times in Jackson County District Court as her court-appointed attorney explained his concerns with trying her for all three counts in the same trial.
"There will be a spillover effect on the jury, which might not be able to make an independent assessment," on each charge, said Philip Ramirez, referring to allegations that Holdgrafer not only abused her dead son, Colin, but also abused and neglected his older adopted brother, Darrian.
The state argued that all evidence of alleged abuse should be heard in a single trial and would not prejudice a jury.
Ramirez also asked Greve to allow a change of venue for his client's trial, saying that media coverage of her son's death included prejudicial statements by her dead husband that she had "held her son's head under water and had known about the abuse and neglect."
"Those are in the public now, but (since he is dead) they cannot be challenged," Ramirez said.
Jackson County Attorney Chris Raker argued that media coverage of the case was "largely informative" and not inflammatory.
"The defendant has not proven that we can't sit a fair jury in Jackson County," Raker said.