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
Film Festival adds screenings to schedule
The Traverse City Film Festival has added screenings of in-demand movies including Woody Allen's "Fading Gigolo" and director Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" to its schedule for next week.Continued ...
Community helps Cousins repay TCAPS
Community members and a handful of Traverse City Area Public Schools employees and board members helped former TCAPS superintendent Stephen Cousins repay the district, according to TCAPS records.Continued ...
TCAPS reimbursed ahead of schedule
Community members showed their support for Traverse City Area Public Schools’ former superintendent Stephen Cousins by way of their pocketbooks.Continued ...
Craigslist car sale leads to weapons assault charge
Leelanau County Sheriff's deputies arrested a Cedar man who tried to strike another man with a crowbar after a Craigslist car sale sputtered and stalled, authorities said.Continued ...
Lake Leelanau man arrested after domestic disturbance
A Lake Leelanau man was arrested on two counts of felonious assault after Leelanau County sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a man making threats with a knife.Continued ...
United Way donors can help with grant process
United Way of Northwest Michigan is looking for volunteers to sift through grant applications and decide how to divvy up the available funds of this year's grant cycle.Continued ...
Bensley backs off on visitation denial
Grand Traverse County's sheriff backed off his efforts to bar potential media access to a jailed high-profile criminal defendant, but it took a conversation with the county's prosecutor to change his mind.Continued ...
Gomery hearing delayed
Court officials agreed to push back the next court appearance for a local attorney accused of trying to orchestrate a murder-for-hire plot.Continued ...
Swimmers warned against four beaches
Officials issued bacteria warnings for four Grand Traverse Bay beaches after rain and high winds.Continued ...
Film producer pleads guilty
The ex-wife of filmmaker Michael Moore pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor impaired driving charge in 86th District Court.Continued ...
Ceremony will honor 2 Civil War soldiers buried in Kalkaska
Two Civil War soldiers, both Congressional Medal of Honor recipients buried in Kalkaska’s Evergreen Cemetery, will be honored once again for their bravery in a special military ceremony on Saturday.Continued ...
A new place for art
Visitors approaching the Dentolutions offices might mistake the sculpture outside for a giant red, avant garde toothbrush.Continued ...
TCFF's latest free venue is all 'The Buzz'
Harold “Buzz” Wilson was adamant that film should be enjoyed by all and not just those who can afford tickets.Continued ...
Calling all cowboys and cowgirls
The search is on for a few good cowboys and cowgirls. The Manistee County Fair, which also serves Benzie County, announced it will host a rodeo that’s open to any cowpokes interested in participating in bareback riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, cowgirl’s barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.Continued ...
- Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Parking violations spike Wednesday morning
Dozens of motorists who parked illegally overnight recently on city streets awoke to find tickets stuck to their windshields.Continued ...
City manager gets satisfactory review
City commissioners like the substance of new City Manager Jered Ottenwess and ruled his performance satisfactory but want him to develop a harder, older, and more political image.Continued ...
New driver education partnership for Big Brothers Big Sisters
Local teenagers now have the opportunity to learn to drive through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.Continued ...
UPDATE: A new Kid's Kove
Kassy Shaw and Ella Mead have some ideas about how to improve Grand Traverse County Civic Center's Kid's Kove playground.Continued ...
Moore, Glynn end marriage
Filmmaker Michael Moore's marriage is over. Moore and now ex-wife Kathleen Glynn filed a consent judgement of divorce recently in 13th Circuit Court in Antrim County. Most of the terms of the divorce are confidential.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 07/24/2014
Because of incorrect information provided to the Record-Eagle, the year of Bert Brengman's death was incorrect in Wednesday's edition. Brengman died in 1998.Continued ...
Traverse City man charged with sex crime
A Traverse City man is suspected of engaging in unwanted sex acts with a teenage relative.Continued ...
Grant will provide fresh fruit, veggies at Traverse Heights Elementary
Traverse Heights Elementary School students will get free healthy snacks during the upcoming school year thanks to a $12,650 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.Continued ...
Absentee ballots available for August election
Registered voters who won’t be able to make it to the polls for the August primary election still have time to vote by absentee ballot.Continued ...
Carter's Kids, GT County aim to replace Civic Center playground
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County is partnering with a national nonprofit group to raise money for a new playground at the county's Civic Center. Carter's Kids, a group that promotes youth fitness started by Traverse City resident and televisionContinued ...
Elmwood trustee charged with domestic violence
TRAVERSE CITY — An Elmwood Township trustee is accused of hitting his wife during an argument. David Lee Darga's wife told authorities that she was assaulted by her husband, according to a report compiled by the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department.Continued ...
- Film Festival adds screenings to schedule