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Both defendants in the Freeport murder case appeared in court Tuesday

Posted: Tue, May 7, 2019 2:23 PM

The two people charged in last year's death of 46-year-old David Hansen of Freeport--Decorah residents 18-year-old Dalton Adam and 17-year-old Jacob Seelinger--were both in Winneshiek County Circuit Court Tuesday morning.  They each face one count of first degree murder in Hansen's death.

Adam's attorney, Waterloo Public Defender Melissa Anderson-Seeber, successfully argued Tuesday for a delay in Adam's trial, which now will be held in October.  She said such a delay was needed to give the defense more time to prepare.

Seelinger's attorney, James Metcalf from Waterloo, also argued for a delay in Seelinger's trial.  While Circuit Court Judge Richard Stochl agreed to the motion, he set July 8th as "the firm date" for the trial.  Special Assistant State Attorney General Scott Brown told the judge the trial should take four days, including jury selection.

Metcalf was less successful with a second motion involving Seelinger--to move the trial back into juvenile court and out of adult court.  Metcalf said since Seelinger was 17-and-a-half years old when he allegedly committed the crime, the adult court penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole would not allow for the possibility of rehabilitation.

Judge Stochl disagreed with that statement, saying it is "rare" for juveniles to receive life sentences.  He also noted that the Juvenile Corrections Officer's initial investigation had recommended Seelinger be tried in adult court.  Furthermore, Judge Stochl noted Iowa law requires such a motion to be made within 10 days of a defendant's initial appearance in court--a deadline which has long since passed.

With Tuesday's hearings completed, the trial of Jacob Seelinger will be held in July and the trial of Dalton Adam will be held in October.

Both Adam and Seelinger are being held in the Winneshiek County Jail.