With the victim changing his story, prosecutors revealed they were left with no option but to settle the cases against Brooke Hale and Jack Redmon, allowing them to go free on time-served for allegedly attacking and stabbing local businessman Mike Hale outside the VFW last year.
“This office has always taken, and always will take, a stand against violence committed against the citizens of our district,” said District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis of the plea agreement reached Wednesday that netted Hale and Redmon no additional jail time for the knife attack of Mrs. Hale’s estranged husband, Mike Hale. “Sometimes we take this stand despite the wishes of the victims of such violence. This is such a case.”
Zavogiannis said a change in heart by Mr. Hale, who was the state’s only eyewitness to the attack, left prosecutors with problems going forward with trials against the two.
“When this case began, the victim identified each defendant as participating in an attack in broad daylight at the VFW and testified, under oath, consistent with that version of events at a preliminary hearing,” Zavogiannis noted. “The victim has since recanted much of what he originally alleged happened making this case very difficult to prosecute going forward.”
Zavogiannis went on to contend Mr. Hale has gone so far as to rekindle his relationship with his formerly estranged wife.
“He has, in fact, resumed a relationship with Ms. Hale and demanded this office dismiss the case against her entirely,” Zavogiannis said.
His changing story, Zavogiannis noted, would be hard for jurors to believe no matter how he testified.
“The state is thus presented with a situation where the primary proof in the form of the victim’s testimony will, and should, be called into question,” Zavogiannis said. “Trials require the expenditure of substantial time and resources. Before any case goes to trial the state has an obligation to evaluate the likelihood of obtaining a conviction.”
As for the judicial diversion, which will allow Mrs. Hale to have her criminal record erased after two years, Zavogiannis said her office strenuously objected to it being granted. They had agreed to the two years of probation and crediting her 40 days, time-served but not the diversion.