TRAVERSE CITY — BY GLENN PUIT
Questions raised by cell phone records prompted prosecutors to dismiss criminal charges against a man accused of trying to drag a woman into the woods along the Boardman Lake Trail.
David Michael Walter, 42, was accused of attacking the woman as she walked her dog along the trail on Sept. 16. The victim gave detectives a detailed description of her attacker, and a composite sketch appeared to be a dead ringer for Walter.
But after his arrest, defense attorney David Clark said Walter was adamant about his innocence. An analysis of cell phone records showed Walker's cell phone was used in Kingsley around the time of the attempted assault.
Prosecutors today dismissed a felony count of attempted unlawful imprisonment and a misdemeanor assault count.
"Those records show the phone was being used in Kingsley at the time that this event occurred, sometime before and sometime after," Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Alan Schneider said.
Schneider said investigators tried to confirm Walter was in possession of the cell phone at that time. One call made about an hour after the attempted abduction was made to a person in Wisconsin, and that individual verified she talked to Walter.
"It took a while for the police to track this person down, and they said for that phone call, the only person talking they were talking to would be the defendant Dave Walter," Schneider said.
Walker spent three months in jail awaiting trial on the charges. Clark, a court-appointed defense attorney, said he quickly became convinced of Walter's innocence. Clark labored for months to investigate the allegations and secure cell phone records. He said witnesses placed Walter at home at the time of the attack.
"David has maintained his innocence from day one, and the trouble with this whole case is he's a Native American, and I hate to say this, but people say they all look alike and he was identified as a Native American with a pony tail," Clark said.
Undersheriff Nathan Alger said the subsequent investigation indicated Walter likely was in Kingsley at the time of the assault.
TRAVERSE CITY — BY GLENN PUIT
UPDATE: Northwestern, Chemical banks merge
The Grand Traverse region’s burgeoning economy sparked the proposed merger of Northwestern and Chemical banks in a deal that will cause layoffs.Continued ...
Northwestern Bank reaches sale agreement
TRAVERSE CITY - Northwestern Bank will be purchased by Midland-based Chemical Bank for $120 million cash, the financial institutions said.Continued ...
Quartet crosses ice to N. Manitou
A moment of pure terror surged through Tom Bisbee when the ice cracked beneath his feet. The cold came next as he plunged into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan nearly 1.5 miles from the nearest piece of dry land.Continued ...
Hearing planned for Garfield theater complex
The public will have a chance to comment on one of the area’s largest post-recession development projects.Continued ...
3 injured in separate crashes
A Mayfield man remains hospitalized after a snowmobile crashed into a shore station at a frozen southern Michigan lake.Continued ...
Kingsley oil well erupts in flames
A mechanical problem likely sparked a spectacular eruption of flames from an oil and natural gas well near Kingsley, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official said.Continued ...
Attic fire damages East Bay Township home
A fire destroyed most of an East Bay Township home’s roof before firefighters extinguished the blaze.Continued ...
Rec authority seeks facility manager
The joint recreational authority of Traverse City and Garfield Township won’t wait for a $650,000 makeover of the Cathedra Barn to start planning events.Continued ...
- Monday, March 10, 2014
Sheriff: GPS led Canadian duo astray
A craving for milkshakes and faulty GPS directions turned a young Canadian duo's late night quest to find a McDonald's restaurant into an overnight misadventure along a Kalkaska back road.Continued ...
Inuit art collectors make the trip
To say Ann Conway loves Inuit art is an understatement. Every available space in her Traverse area townhouse is covered with intricately carved figurines.Continued ...
Winner dedicated to social work, ed.
This year's recipient of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award was so shocked to be selected by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission that she called back the chairwoman two days later to make sure she'd correctly heard the news.Continued ...
Frat takes to road for MS
Quentin Callahan slumped in the corner of a booth at Mackinac Brewing, eyes closed, hood over his head.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 9, 2014
Zoning question to delay decision
A decision whether to use a city-owned warehouse for an emergency homeless shelter likely will extend into summer as city planners devise a new zoning ordinance.Continued ...
Heroin floods court docket
Another day, another heroin case. Illegal drugs inundated Grand Traverse County’s court docket last week.Continued ...
Taxes paid, code violations still remain
A downstate bank paid Sugar Loaf Resort’s outstanding taxes, but whomever owns the property needs to address a slew of building code violations before any major changes can occur at the long-shuttered Leelanau County winter retreat.Continued ...
Judge sides with township in Kasson gravel case
A local judge ruled against a landowner who challenged Kasson Township zoning rules because she wanted to mine gravel on her Leelanau County property.Continued ...
Low-income housing project lost
A development group lost control of 15 acres on the city’s west side, and along with it their proposal to develop 102 low-income, work-force housing apartments.Continued ...
- Saturday, March 8, 2014
How to finance history?
Talks continue between a host of local nonprofit officials who could overlap their organizations for history’s sake.Continued ...
Parking-space dining latest twist for downtown TC
The opportunity to dine in a street-side parking space could become the latest epicurean delight — or potential nightmare, in one official’s mind — to arrive in downtown Traverse City.Continued ...
'Good Samaritan' injured in wreck needs help
They called Scott Peterson “Good Samaritan” after the late January car wreck that nearly killed him. But friends and family said Peterson, a man who would “give a stranger the shirt off his back” needs some payback for a lifetime of good deeds.Continued ...
Union pact on TCAPS agenda
Traverse City Area Public Schools board members will consider a contract with the Food Service Employees Association, the purchase of 11 new school buses and employee layoffs, resignations and retirements at their meeting Monday night.Continued ...
Nominate an outstanding educator
Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District wants to hear from the community about area educators who have made a difference.Continued ...
Two arrested in drug bust
Traverse Narcotics Team officers arrested a Detroit man and woman after a months-long drug probe.Continued ...
- Friday, March 7, 2014
High School Sports Scoreboard: 03/07/2014
A roundup of scores from today's boys district basketball tournament games:Continued ...
Benzonia woman accused of prescription fraud
A Benzonia woman faces a felony charge after authorities said she fraudulently obtained hundreds of prescription pills.Continued ...
- UPDATE: Northwestern, Chemical banks merge