“Growing up the good guys wore white hats, the bad guys wore black hats and if you told the truth you would always win.”
Oh how I wish I could have always worn those ‘rose-coloured” glasses or at least I could put them back on now from time-to-time.
These past days have had the cumulative effect of out-rage with an unequivocal determination to strike swiftly, surely and finitely to aid and protect a young woman (a relative) from the purely, whack-a-doodle, drug encrusted mind and behavioral accusations of Stephen.
In or around 2012 Andy and his little brother Stephen were shipped to Northwest Iowa (specifically Spirit Lake, Iowa) from Washington state by who I would characterize as Embarrassed Daddy Got Bucks for drug rehabilitation and Margarita Mommy. Drugs of choice for both these ‘boys’ include; cocaine, heroin, meth and prescription drugs.
On February 18, 2013, Andy managed a trifecta of improper rear lamp charge, unlawful meds charge in Spirit Lake and the traveling pharmacy of cocaine, meth and marijuana charge in Milford. After being charged, bed & boarded in Dickinson County Iowa jail, Edward (Ned) Bjornstad appointed defense counsel on February 21, 2013, and Edward (Ned) Bjornstad withdrew as defense counsel on March 6, 2013, (too much work Ned?) Upon Ned’s retreat, enter John Lawrence Sandy as defense counsel with an eye to the main chance and in Mr. Sandy’s own words, “I (John Sandy) am only in it for the money…” and who again repeated this mantra in his inadvertent telephone recording as acting mediator for the state of Iowa in the Administrative Judge Susan Ackerman case for which he (John Sandy) received formal censure.
Oh but Stephen stayed behind! While the dust from Andy’s flight was still floating in the air in March 2013, Stephen was engaging in abuse not only of drugs but accusations of domestic abuse of a roommate and fathered a child on a young woman in June 2013. Who was Stephen’s attorney representing him on the domestic abuse charge? Why none other than John Lawrence Sandy!
In 2014 Stephen continued in his pattern of drug abuse and was arrested for simple domestic abuse of a roommate with trial scheduled for April 2014 and a no contact order issued. Stephen was found not guilty of the abuse of a roommate but there was still the tentative abuse action of the young woman. However Stephen took the young woman and her baby to Washington, where he, his mother and his father had ‘talks’ with the young woman who was a victim/witness. Define Witness tampering. After these captive Washington ‘talks’ the young woman withdrew her complaint.
In 2015, Stephen filed an action to establish paternity, custody and visitation for the baby. The custody/visitation hearing was held March 9, 2015, before Judge Steven J. Andreasen where Stephen testified according to the hearing transcript in answer to the question, “…Have you sought out any sort of anger management treatment?…” Stephen answered, “… No. No. Well, back in fifth grade I did, yeah…” Later in the transcript where Stephen testified in answer to the question, “…You (Stephen) had indicated in your affidavit that you sought out drug treatment, is that correct?…” and Stephen answered, “…That’s right…” When Stephen was asked, “…when did you complete that treatment?…” Stephen answered, “…September 2012…I’m trying to–I think September 7th or September 17th…” and to the question put to Stephen, “…Have you had a relapse since then?…” to which Stephen answered (with no objection from his then attorney Amanda Van Wyhe), “…I have two relapses since then…”
As a result of the March 9, 2015, hearing Judge Steven Andreasen awarded Stephen unsupervised visitation with two weeks in the summer with the year old child forcing the young mother to turn her baby over to a drug fiend and I believe the munificent court ordered child support of $42.00 per month!
While that ruling was being challenged, the young woman was forced to drive to Webster city for the weekend exchanges. Meanwhile Stephen was still using drugs. On the November 11, 2015, exchange, the young woman demanded Stephen roll up his sleeves to check for new needle marks before she would hand over her baby. Stephen refused and called 911 at or around 19:31PM for custody exchange assistance. Three Webster city officers arrived, Phil Queen 19:47 PM, Brandon Pritchard 19:35PM and Captain Tony Janssen 19:34 PM. The young woman was threatened with arrest if she did not hand the year-old child over. Scared to death of arrest and possible loss of her baby, she handed the child over without confirming new needle tracks, nor did the Webster City Officers check.
The young woman received numerous text messages from Stephen. One of numerous rapid fire messages on November 26, 2015, at 4:22:29 PM Stephen states, “because of your irresponsibility to let your work know ahead of time which days you have to meet up with me to exchange (baby), and jockeying your schedule to do so …because of your negligence toward the court order, because of your incompetence to be able to follow the judges instructions…mark my words it is only a matter of time before I have primary physical care of (baby)…She belongs with me and not you…not to mention it is a proven fact that daughters do better with their fathers having custody than their mothers (otherwise they become insecure and don’t know how to have a relationship with a man and they don’t know how to treat men because of it…” at 4:22:37 PM Stephen continues, “…And I am not doing this to punish you…I’m doing it because I truly think I am a better parent than you…” at 5:03:19 PM Stephen states, “…So I just want you to know that I am going to be filing the motion and you should probably be hiring your attorney again. I am not scared of you…I have spoken to the Hamilton County sheriff’s deputies who came to the gas station you know the ones who told you to shut up because they saw right thru you, we’ll they have your number and my attorney is going to subpoena an affidavit from them to explain what they were witnessing…I am going to humiliate because the entire Plymouth county courthouse is going to have your number after my attorney gets through with you…”
From 2016-2018 Stephen moved from city to city, state to state to avoid law enforcement, jail and all the while keeping up his litany of verbal and mental abuse using law enforcement as a vise to squeeze compliancy from the young woman.
On or around October 18, 2018, Stephen struck again. Once again fresh out of drug rehab according to my information and having taken a four year old child to the equivalent of a half-way house for a weekend stay, Stephen involved the Plymouth County Sheriff’s office in his behavioral, mentally aberrant vendetta accusing the young woman of kidnap because the young woman fearful for her safety and the safety of her child refused to give her new address to Stephen.
Deputy Rick Singer called on the young woman, questioned her and threatened her with arrest for kidnapping her own child. The young woman called me terrified, relating her exchange with Deputy Singer. On October 23, 2018, I presented myself at the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office to meet with Deputy Singer to confirm he was the officer who spoke with the young woman and issued the arrest threat, to supply him with evidence I had (excerpts of text messages, March 9, 2015, hearing transcript excerpt and a copy of the Duluth Power and Control Wheel) and to discuss future contacts with the young woman. Deputy Singer and I had a brief unsatisfactory conversation, I left the Sheriff’s office, made a brief stop at the Plymouth County Attorney’s Office and headed home to write a meeting summary which was forwarded to Deputy Singer, Sheriff Van Otterloo and Plymouth County Raymond and appears below:
Vickie A. Larsen
October 23, 2018
PLYMOUTH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Plymouth County Deputy Rick W. Singer
451- 14th Avenue N.E.
LeMars, IA 51031
Dear Deputy Singer:
This is a confirmation of our face-to-face visit this morning at the Sheriff’s Office in LeMars.
At the commencement of our conversation, I presented you with copies of four documents: A copy of the Duluth Power and Control Wheel, a copy of selected pages derived from the court transcript of the Monday, March 9, 2015, hearing before the Honorable Steven J. Andreasen, Equity Number DRCV036146 in the Iowa District Court for Plymouth County (pages 1,22-25), and two sections of selected harassing excerpts of telephonic text messages from Stephen (last name blocked) which you ignored throughout the short course of our conversation.
We discussed your threat to arrest Ms. (name blocked) for kidnapping her minor daughter ostensibly because she failed to give Stephen (last name blocked) her current address, your un-substantiated opinion she lied to about your threat, your misguided belief your expansive knowledge of Iowa Statute would validate your claim, and your belief that your verbal statement you could arrest her for kidnap was not a threat.
Let’s deal with your stance you hold the power to arrest Ms. (name blocked) for kidnapping her own child, simply for not immediately advising Stephen (last name blocked) of her change in address. I would argue those pesky little precursors of arrest warrant such as proper unbiased investigation and unimpeachable evidence beyond hearsay which lead to probable cause for a bill of indictment which should be provided to the county attorney in form would cramp your style.
Now onto your crystal ball opinion Ms (name blocked) lied about your explicit threat of arrest for kidnapping which meandered from she outright lied about what you said about her arrest, to she misunderstood your intent when you told her you could arrest her for kidnapping, to your contention I misunderstood what she told me and finally all the way downstream by the end of your explanation and justification of your admitted comment to Ms. (name blocked) to you quoting your belief of what Iowa Statute says. Deputy Singer, I do believe you are standing on the wrong side of the bench, it is way above your pay grade to interpret the law.
Finally I want to touch on another facet of our short conversation. Specifically Deputy Singer, the flawed opinion you voiced concerning your threat to Ms. (name blocked), your error in opinion and legal fact you made on August 4, 2015, when you violated a citizen’s Fourth Amendment assurance and yesterday you erred again when you opined an admitted, still ‘using’ drug addict with ‘anger issues’ going back to the fifth grade to which he testified on March 9, 2015, (a copy of which testimony I provided to you) has the right to possess a hand gun. Deputy Singer, you castigated Ms. (name blocked) for her fears for her life and her child by way of your threat to arrest her. Tell me Deputy Singer would you willingly provide your address to an anger irrational, known drug addict with a handgun? Would you let him know where you live with your family?
I offer an observation, while the author of the August 14, 2015, article I read concerning your Fourth Amendment violation and abridgement of open carry rule opined, “…Deputy Singer has qualified immunity…and he is ignorant of the law…”, I disagree with the ‘qualified immunity’ in that it plays semantics with the clarity of the law and he creates an oxymoron with the addendum of Deputy Singer’s Ignorantia juris non excusal(ignorance of the law excuses not or ignorantia legis neminem excusat (ignorance of the law excuses no one) ignorance of the law which is No Excuse. Plymouth County Deputy Rick W. Singer is no more above the laws of our land than any other citizen. Conversely above most others, he has an oath sworn duty to KNOW those laws!
Finally I will leave you with this observation Deputy Singer while you appear to have skated on the Fourth Amendment violation, I will not allow you or the state Iowa to sacrifice another Iowa child or mother on the altars of stupidity, willful ignorance and incompetence. I will not stand silently by for a recurrence of Shelby Duis. I am
Vickie A. Larsen