Updates in Whittle murder case

By Connor Hopkins

No appearance April 12; dates for pretrial conference, jury trial set

In the last two weeks, more court documents have been filed in the case of the State of Iowa vs. Aaron Gary Whittle. Whittle, who was arrested in March for the murder of his father Larry Whittle, has entered a plea of Not Guilty. As a result of the April 6 plea, the scheduled appearance in court for the defendant on Tuesday, April 12, did not occur. By pleading not guilty and entering a written arraignment, Whittle waived his right to a speedy trial as well as a formal reading of the indictment and will be taking this case into a jury trial.
Whittle has been assigned public defender Les Blair of Dubuque as his legal counsel. Blair was assigned to this case because Winneshiek County does not have a public defender for Class A felony cases. Dubuque County is first on the list to supply aid in these cases to Winneshiek County. Blair was assigned to the case on March 29, the same day that court information was filed.
On March 31, Blair filed a motion of discovery, in essence asking the court for the evidence they have in the case. The court took “no action” on the motion, likely due to the motion being filed at the incorrect time. The official document says “the court entered an order … that addresses compliance with court rules regarding discovery.” In this instance, the motion for discovery should have been filed after the arraignment and plea was signed, not before. Now that the arraignment and plea have been signed, as of April 6, the defense team can file a motion of discovery again.
Whittle remains in the Winneshiek County Jail on a one million dollar cash bail.
The final pretrial conference for the case is set for Sept. 13, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. in the Winneshiek County Courthouse. The jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 3, 2022, at 9 a.m., also at the Winneshiek County Courthouse.

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