Counsel Requests Mistrial During Witness Testimony In Sentencing For Man Convicted Of Killing Logan Co. Deputy


Wednesday, August 21st 2019, 6:34 pm
By: News 9


There were heated arguments on Wednesday in a Logan County courtroom. The sentencing trial for Nathan LeForce, 47, is underway one day after he was convicted of murdering Logan County Deputy David Wade. 

Defense attorneys requested to file a motion for mistrial and to take the death penalty option off the table. They claimed one of the state’s witnesses, a DHS caseworker, brought personal notes to court that they never received from prosecutors or the government agency.

Read Related Story: Jury Finds Man Guilty Of First Degree Murder In Death Of Logan County Deputy

However, the judge overruled their requests.

LeForce’s counsel said she intended to file a bar complaint against the Logan County District Attorney for unethical practices in the LeForce case.

The District Attorney argued that the defense was acting on “a ploy to avoid the death penalty” and the request for a mistrial was an “orchestrated, fraudulent move to the court.”

The DHS witness was one of three called by prosecutors.

Logan County prosecutors said LeForce has shown to be a continual threat to society and “has utter disregard for human life.” They called witnesses to back up those statements.

The first witness in the sentencing trial for LeForce choked up while recalling a run-in with him 19 years ago.

Jason Smith, a Perry police officer at the time, said he was in a high-speed pursuit with LeForce. The suspect stopped at a cemetery and was armed with a rifle.  Smith told jurors “he thought he was going to die that night” and fired eight times at LeForce but did not seriously injure him.

Six years later, LeForce was involved in a shots fired call with another Perry police officer. Officer Christopher Houston testified that LeForce demanded that he shoot him.

Prosecutors also called DHS worker Steffanie Richards who testified that LeForce made threats towards her over the two years she worked on his case. He eventually lost his parental rights to his two boys, who now live out-of-state.

Richards will continue her testimony on Thursday. The judge ordered her to bring back every DHS document that pertains to LeForce’s case.

The state will also call several of Wade’s family members to testify and stated in open arguments that the court will see an extended version of the murdered deputy’s body camera video.

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