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Civil Mediation for Battery Case Underway in Sandpoint, Idaho

Tuesday, January, 3, 2012

A civil mediation has been arranged for a case in Idaho where two teenage boys allegedly battered a 66-year-old woman with intent to rob her. This offense is punishable by up to 20 years of prison time. Charles Lempesis is the agreed upon mediation attorney.


Background of the Mediation Hearing


Two 17-year-old boys, Marshall Owens Dittrich and Joseph John Martin left a Trout Creek, Montana therapeutic boarding school called Explorations. Vera Gadman, age 66, was helping them find a campsite at the Hope Peninsula when they allegedly tried to strangle her with a cord, hit her on the head with a bottle, and threw rocks at her. Despite these attacks, she was able to fend them off.


The Bonner County Sheriff's office apprehended the teens soon after the attack in a police dragnet. Dittrich is being held in the Bonner County Jail and Martin is at the Kootenai County juvenile detention facility. Both have entered pleas of “not guilty” to the criminal charges. Both the Prosecutor and Defense Attorneys agreed to seek criminal case mediation.


Criminal Mediation Allowed in Idaho


Using civil mediation to resolve criminal cases is allowed in Idaho due to a court rule, but it has seldomly been used in Bonner County. Mediation in these cases is normally used to find out the facts of a case, restitution, charging and sentencing options. They are also kept strictly confidential.


In the state of Idaho, these mediations have been used for a variety of offenses ranging from criminal theft to second-degree murder. If the mediation is not resolved satisfactorily, both Defendants will face 4 day jury trials in the 1st District Court, and will be charged separately.