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Shriver’s alibi presented late

By Staff | Dec 11, 2013

An alleged alibi is at the center of a hearing held in Tyler County Circuit Court Thursday.

Howard P. Shriver, 34, of HC 74 Box 22 A, Alma, was in court before Judge Mark A. Karl on a motion to reconsider the court’s prior ruling. Shriver was indicted on 11 separate counts from the February term of the grand jury: Count one, attempted malicious wounding; count two, domestic battery; count three, burglary; count four, violation of a protective order; count five, retaliation of a witness; count six, retaliation of a witness; count seven, unlawful restraint; count eight, domestic assault; count nine, domestic assault; count 10, destruction of property; and count 11, attempted murder.

These charges stem from an Oct. 8, 2012, event in which Shriver allegedly used an axe-like weapon in an attempt to break into a home and attack his wife and two young children, near Wilbur.

Shriver’s attorney, Jay Gerber, asked the court for permission to question Shriver’s former attorney, Joyce Stanten. She was called to the stand and sworn in. Gerber asked her a series of questions concerning a prior alibi that he claimed Shriver had given to her when she was representing him. She agreed he had provided the alibi to her and she had investigated it by interviewing the witnesses. She admitted that she was informed of his alibi in March 2013, but she did not get it on paper and returned to the state until June because of the investigation.

Prosecutor Luke Furbee contends the motion of an alibi was not timely filed and if she had been notified in March, the state should have received notice and the 10-day alibi rule should apply. That is the purpose of the rule, so the defense cannot just come up with an alibi.

Gerber told the court the evidence clearly shows the defendant notified his attorney in a timely manner, in fact he did so at the time of his arraignment. He said the court is aware that the alibi was disclosed. The supreme court has ruled that when it is the attorney’s fault, the defendant cannot be held liable. “I understand the state’s concern and their position. However, the facts are clear that Mr. Shriver told his attorney about his alibi defense and did so in a timely manner. The only problem is she took to long to investigate it,” said Gerber.

Judge Karl told Gerber that he was going to take a stance on this situation. “I want counsel to send to my office and file with the clerk’s office a proposed order as to how you feel this court should rule. Have the copies in the mail by Jan. 2. I also want to advise counsel that we are coming toward the end of the term here. This term’s going to end the second week in February and I want you to talk to Mr. Shriver because we are going to run out of trial dates. Come back here on Jan. 16, prepared with Mr. Shriver to waiver the term.”

Karl continued, “Again, get the proposed order to me in the mail by Jan. 2, and I’ll take it under advisement. I don’t want to be put in a position where I might have to try this case twice. I understand your argument and what Mr. Furbee’s contending.”

Furbee then reminded the court the case had already been set for trial. Karl said he understood, but it is going to depend on how he rules on the matter at hand. Shriver was then ordered to return on Jan. 16 at 10 a.m.; he was remanded to jail.