Date Archives July 2016

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki found guilty

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty this morning on six counts of deprivation of parental rights related to the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The sisters were taken near their home on April 19, 2013 during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents.

Grazzini-Rucki was found not guilty on two additional counts.

David Rucki, the girls’ father, was in the courtroom when the verdicts were announced. Grazzini-Rucki showed no emotion as each of the verdicts were read in the courtroom. Two supporters of Grazzini-Rucki were in the courtroom when the verdicts were announced, Michael Rhedin and Caroline Rice. Neither of them showed emotion when the verdicts were announced. Continue reading

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki admits past testimony in court was “dishonest”

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki admitted in testimony this morning during her criminal trial that she had repeatedly been “dishonest” when she previously testified under oath in her divorce and custody proceeding with her ex-husband, David Rucki.

Grazzini-Rucki has been charged with eight felony counts of deprivation of parental rights involving the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The sisters ran from their home on April 19, 2013 during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents.

While being cross-examined yesterday by Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathryn Keena, Grazzini-Rucki read transcripts of her “dishonest” answers to numerous questions in court proceedings where she claimed she did not know the location of her missing daughters.

Keena questioned Grazzini-Rucki for almost four hours, providing the jurors with multiple examples of Grazzini-Rucki’s “dishonest” past testimony. Keena also introduced as evidence a collection of lawsuits filed by Grazzini-Rucki in both federal and state court which contained examples of where Grazzini-Rucki was contradicting her own testimony in her current criminal trial.

Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney, Stephen Grigsby, called his client back to the witness stand to testify this morning in an attempt to correct the damage caused by Keena’s surgical examination of Grazzini-Rucki’s past dishonesty in court filings and sworn testimony. Continue reading

Interview: “The Matt McNeil Show” on first week of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki trial

Below is audio from my interview with Matt McNeil yesterday on AM950 about the first week of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial in Hastings.

[The Matt McNeil Show] Michael Brodkorb – Grazzini Rucki Trial Week #1 by AM950’s Podcasts

Michael Brodkorb joins the Matt McNeil Show to fill us in on what’s been happening during the first week of the Grazzini Rucki trial.

Please check back to Missing in Minnesota on Monday for additional developments involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial to resume on Monday

Source: Osceola County Sheriffs Office
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. Source: Osceola County Sheriffs Office

The first week of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial has ended at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings. I have been in the court for the entire trial over the past four days and I’ve been present longer than any other member of the media who is covering the trial.

I am taking detailed notes of every legal development, along with documenting the atmosphere in the courtroom and the behavior of the key participants. The current estimate from the judge is that the jury will begin deliberating on the facts of the case on Tuesday.

I will be back in the courtroom on Monday morning when the trial resumes, and I will be in the courtroom if and when, the jury reaches a decision on a verdict.

This case is about the disappearance of two sisters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who ran from their home during a custody dispute and divorce proceeding involving their parents, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and David Rucki.

David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing. On November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

Rucki was reunited with his daughters days after they were found and they live with him at the family’s home in Lakeville. Continue reading

Rucki daughters subpoenaed by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to testify in court

The third day of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial on eight counts of depravation of parental rights continued this morning at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings. Grazzini-Ricki has been charged related to the disappearance of her two daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who ran from their home in Lakeville on April 19, 2013.

Michael Rhedin and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki leave the courthouse during a break in the trial.
Michael Rhedin and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki leaving the courthouse on July 18, 2016.

Before the jury was seated for the morning’s testimony from witnesses, Stephen Grigsby, who is Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney, disclosed to the court that Grazzini-Rucki’s boyfriend, Michael Rhedin, had served a subpoena on David Rucki at a family court hearing to compel the testimony of Gianna Rucki, who is 16 years-old.

Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney previously told the court that he issued a subpoena for Samantha Rucki to testify in her mother’s criminal trial. According to statements made in court, there is a disagreement as to whether the subpoena issued for Samantha Rucki was properly served.

Grigsby asked the court to enforce the subpoena he issued for both Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The court has the authority to issue a warrant for the arrest of both sisters, if it is determined they were properly served with a subpoena to testify.

Michael Rhedin, who has been identified in court documents as Grazzini-Rucki’s boyfriend, served the subpoena issued by Grigsby. During the first day of the trial, Grigby said Rhedin would be witness for Grazzini-Rucki, but will now not be called to testify.

In 2014, Rhedin pleaded pleaded guilty to bringing a firearm into an elementary school in Lakeville, Minnesota. Rhedin entered the school to serve a subpoena issued by Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney, Michelle MacDonald, for school records. Continue reading

Judge rules key witnesses must testify against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

The first day of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial on eight counts of depravation of parental rights began today at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings.

Top, Left to Right: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold. Bottom, Left to Right: Doug Dahlen, Gina Dahlen.
Top, Left to Right: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold. Bottom, Left to Right: Doug Dahlen, Gina Dahlen.

The bulk of today’s hearing was focused on the selection of a jury who will decide the fate of Grazzini-Ricki, who has been charged related to the disappearance of her two daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

The sisters ran from their home in Lakeville during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents on April 19, 2013.

Three additional people have been criminally charged with felonies related to the disappearance of the girls: Dede (Deirdre) Evavold, Douglas Dahlen and his wife, Gina Dahlen.

On November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on the Dahlen’s ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, in a search led by the Lakeville Police Department.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Grazzini-Rucki, she picked up her daughters on the night they ran from their home in Lakeville and drove them to the home of Evavold and then eventually, the Dahlen’s ranch in Herman, Minnesota.

Continue reading

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial starts today

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial on eight counts of depravation of parental rights begins today at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings.

Grazzini-Rucki has been charged related to the disappearance of her two daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who ran from their home in Lakeville during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents on April 19, 2013.

Continue reading