DOJ: News Release

McGrath Requests Rehearing in Aceto Case

HELENA – Attorney General Mike McGrath, today, filed a Petition for Rehearing with the Montana Supreme Court in State of Montana vs Joseph Aceto. The state Supreme Court ruled recently that Aceto was entitled to a new trial because the trial court judge had removed Aceto from the courtroom for disruptive behavior during his trial in Kalispell on attempted homicide and kidnapping charges.

McGrath’s petition asked the Supreme Court to reconsider that opinion because “the court overlooked a decisive question submitted by counsel and a material fact.” The petition alleges that the Supreme Court misinterpreted the trial transcript when it held that Judge Ted Lympus refused to allow Aceto the opportunity to return to the courtroom for the remainder of the trial following his temper tantrum on January 8, 2002. The petition alleges that Judge Lympus did give Aceto the opportunity to attend the rest of the trial in person, but that Aceto refused and therefore waived his right to be present in the courtroom.

Aceto was convicted of two counts of attempted homicide and one count of kidnapping by a Flathead County jury at the close of the 2002 trial. He appealed his conviction and the Supreme Court ordered a new trial on September 8, 2004.

McGrath indicated that he didn’t know how long it would take the Supreme Court to respond to his request, but that Aceto’s attorney would have an opportunity to respond to the State’s petition first.

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