Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bigfoot Considered a Distraction and an Advantage to Defendants in Iowa Courts

Iowa Prosecutor Says, "No!" to Bigfoot

“Jurors could be incredulous. They could find it unusual enough that it outweighs other evidence in their mind.” --Rob Sand, Iowa Prosecutor

In 1979 a man was accused of murder and his legal defense team used a change of diet, from healthy foods to unhealthy foods (like Twinkies), in order to shore up the argument that the defendant was severely depressed while committing murders. Although Twinkies were never mentioned in the case a reporter coined the term "Twinkie Defense" and it has been a mocking label for improbable legal defenses ever since.

Now in the case of Eddie Tipton we may have a new term for improbable defenses. The bigfoot defense.

Mr. Tipton has been convicted of fraud in a lottery scandal in Iowa. Although his lawyer has not announced bigfoot as his defense strategy, it seems Iowa prosecutor Rob Sand wants to take a preemptive strike.

The New York Post reported on the prosecutors legal request:
Sand wrote in his motion that Iowa’s lengthy investigation has found that Bigfoot hunting is a hobby that Tommy Tipton – who recently resigned as a justice of the peace in Flatonia, Texas – shares with two unidentified friends who “were involved in purchasing or claiming jackpot-winning tickets.” He said their relationships can be established without mentioning that quirky pastime, and that hauling Bigfoot into the proceeding would have “no probative value on the ultimate question.”
In the same article the prosecutor explains how mentioning bigfoot in the case could be an advantage to the case:
“The prejudicial effect could potentially be as strong as Sasquatch itself,” Sand wrote. “Jurors could be incredulous. They could find it unusual enough that it outweighs other evidence in their mind.”
Finally Eddie Tipton's defense lawyer believes that the barring of Bigfoot is more publicity stunt, than legal concern, calling the motion, "'kind of comical' and a publicity stunt."

The details of Mr. Tipton has already been convicted of fraud, rigging a $16.5M lottery win, and at one time was associated with the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization. The organization founder Bobby Hamilton has stated that he has not seen Mr. Tipton in over 15 years,

Read more details at The New York Post article "Disgraced lotto official outed as a Bigfoot hunter by prosecutors"

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