Livingston County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Rodden
deputy's charges dropped
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Sunday, July 22, 2007
A former Livingston County sheriff's deputy's domestic violence trial
came to an abrupt halt Friday after the prosecution learned the alleged victim had a MySpace page that called her credibility
On Kimberly Rodden's Web page is a photograph of handcuffs
and the words, "Make them tight. I've been bad." She also wrote, "Innocent until proven guilty" and
describes herself as a "spunky, sassy Asian sensation.""I am spoiled and I get what I want," Kim Rodden
posted on her Web page while bragging about a Ford F-150 pickup truck that she wanted and testified that her husband purchased
The Web posting details — which came as a surprise to the
prosecution — became important after Kim Rodden testified that her husband, former Deputy Richard "Rick" Rodden,
handcuffed her during one alleged domestic violence incident before striking her.
"If she's a victim, I'm a Japanese aviator," Plymouth defense attorney Richard Convertino told the
Richard Rodden declined the Daily Press & Argus' request
for an interview. However, in an emotional moment and choking back tears in court, he thanked the seven-member Livingston
County District Court jury for their service.
While Richard Rodden's
supporters hugged one another outside of court, his wife's supporters stood stunned as they tried to understand why the
charges were dropped. One supporter of Kim Rodden's pointed a finger at Richard Rodden as he left the courtroom and said,
"You know you're guilty."
Assistant Prosecutor Dan Rose said
the presentation of the Web pages in court "was the first time" his office had seen that evidence. He made a motion
to dismiss the charges, which Convertino immediately accepted.
you make a decision like this, you weigh the value of the evidence you have, the evidence you don't have, the credibility
of the witness, and you make a decision," Prosecutor David Morse said Friday afternoon. "We felt it would be in
the best interest of justice to not pursue it."
Richard Rodden —
who was accused of striking his wife, handcuffing her and putting a pillow over her face — faces no further charges
from the incidents because double jeopardy would be an issue, Morse said. Double jeopardy means a person cannot be tried twice
for the same offense.
In the opening day of testimony Thursday, Kim Rodden
testified that her husband would lose control. She said he kicked her, handcuffed her and slapped her on the side of the head
"four or five times." She also accused him of putting a pillow on her face and trying to suffocate her.
Richard Rodden was charged with domestic violence after arguing with his wife May
14. During that argument, Kim Rodden testified, her husband used pressure point techniques on her to get her to stand up before
throwing her on the couch where he "charged" on her after the ringer for a text message sounded.
She said during the argument, her husband took out what she thought was his Taser stun
gun and held it down by his side. She said he pointed the gun at his head and told her that he would die for her, but would
not kill himself for her.
Police later learned Richard Rodden had pulled
his service weapon out, not the Taser gun.
On Friday, Convertino and co-counsel
Lenore Ferber spent most of the day attacking Kim Rodden's credibility. He argued to introduce testimony about her alleged
aggression in a previous marriage, but District Judge Carol Sue Reader ruled that he could only do that if he could prove
the woman had been aggressive toward Richard Rodden during the argument on May 14.No testimony indicated that Kim Rodden had
been aggressive toward her husband that day.
Convertino then successfully
fought to admit into evidence Kim Rodden's online postings, including a photograph of her sitting in her husband's
After Reader ruled the Web pages were relevant to impeach the
complainant's claims of domestic violence, Rose asked for a recess to talk to Kim Rodden and to call his office.
A few minutes later Rose asked to dismiss the case and Reader agreed when Convertino
did not object.
Convertino echoed the judge's sentiment to the jury
that had they decided the case, they no doubt would have returned a "fair and just verdict."
"This was a fair and just verdict," Convertino said. "I commend Mr. Rose for recognizing
the truthfulness of the case and dismissing it."
Richard Rodden, who
was deputy of the year in 2003 for the Sheriff's Department, resigned in May after being charged and after an internal
investigation that revealed he had violated departmental policies, Sheriff Bob Bezotte previously said.