Domestic-violence charge against Councilman McIver dropped
The domestic-violence charge against Seattle City Councilman Richard McIver has been dropped by King County prosecutors a day before the...
Seattle Times staff reporters
The domestic-violence charge against Seattle City Councilman Richard McIver has been dropped by King County prosecutors a day before the case was set to go to trial.
McIver, who had been barred from contact with Kiner-McIver during his prosecution, said he planned to see his wife tonight as the couple begins a process of healing.
McIver said he's angry with the judicial system and believes that he was wrongfully dragged through the mud because of his political position. He said that people had no right "delving into my private life."
"I said I was innocent," McIver said this afternoon. "I'm doing the best I can."
King County District Court Judge Linda Thompson ruled Tuesday that the 911 calls and statements McIver's wife made to police after an altercation Oct. 10 would not be admissible as evidence in the trial, which was scheduled to start Wednesday. The ruling was based, in large part, on Marlaina Kiner-McIver's demeanor when she spoke with police and a 911 dispatcher.
Because Kiner-McIver was calm and had time to reflect on her comments, her statements are not considered "excited utterances" and therefore are hearsay and cannot be used to support the charges, Thompson said. Excited utterances are generally considered admissible because it's assumed someone under the stress of an upsetting incident could not spontaneously lie.
Citing the same reason, Thompson also ruled that prosecutors could not question the Seattle police officer who responded to the McIver home just after midnight on Oct. 10 about what Kiner-McIver told him.
Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Martin had argued to have the calls and statements admitted as evidence. "You don't have to be crying or hysterical to be under the stress of the incident," he told the judge. He would not comment after the ruling.
McIver's attorney, David Allen, was pleased prosecutors decided to drop charges.
"We're happy; we're glad it's finally dismissed. We believe there was never any assault," said Allen. According to court documents, McIver had spent the evening drinking with friends and was getting ready for bed when his wife reminded him to set his alarm clock for an early-morning appointment. He became angry, hurled insults and grabbed her throat and arm several times, according to what police reported Kiner-McIver told them.
Kiner-McIver has reportedly recanted her allegations, saying she fabricated them because she was angry with her husband, according to Allen, McIver's attorney.
Natalie Singer: 206-464-2704 or email@example.com
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