Category State vs. Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki loses another attorney

Stephen Grigsby, who served as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney during her criminal trial for deprivation of parental rights related to the disappearance of her daughters, has been granted his request to be released from representing Grazzini-Rucki.

Judge Karen Asphaug granted Grigsby’s request to stop serving as Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney at a hearing earlier this week.

Grigsby (pictured above left) was Grazzini-Rucki’s second criminal defense attorney after she was charged with deprivation of parental rights involving 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.

Michelle MacDonald, (pictured above right) who serves as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney was replaced as Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal defense attorney by Grigsby on November 18, 2015 – the same day the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

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Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney issues blunt warning: She has ‘no intentions to comply with probation’

In a blunt warning, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal defense attorney said his client has “no intentions to comply with probation,” after her request was denied by a judge yesterday which would have allowed Grazzini-Rucki to serve more time in jail instead of probation for her role in the disappearance of her daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

In July, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights. The sisters ran from their home on April 19, 2013 during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents.

Stephen Grigsby, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki's criminal defense attorney
Stephen Grigsby, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal defense attorney

Stephen Grigsby, Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal defense was quoted by the Star Tribune yesterday saying that “[Grazzini-Rucki] has no intentions to comply with probation.”

Judge Karen Asphaug denied a request by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to serve her full sentence in prison, which would have allowed Grazzini-Rucki to avoid being on probation for the next six years. Grazzini-Rucki made the request to execute her sentence within hours of her sentencing hearing on September 21, 2016. Continue reading

Court denies Grazzini-Rucki’s request to execute sentence

Judge Karen Asphaug has denied a request by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to serve her full sentence in prison, which would have allowed Grazzini-Rucki to avoid being on probation for the next six years. Grazzini-Rucki made the request to execute her sentence within hours of her sentencing hearing on September 21, 2016.

In July, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights related to 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.

Grazzini-Rucki will now remain in jail at the Ramsey County Correctional Facility in St. Paul until October 24, 2016.

Starting in 2017, Grazzini-Rucki will serve 15 days in jail on November 18 for the next six years – the anniversary of the day her daughters were found, for her involvement in the disappearance of her two daughters for over two years. Grazzini-Rucki must also serve 12 days of Sentencing of Service for the next six years.

Grazzini-Rucki will also pay $10,000 to the Minnesota Crime Victim’s Reparations Board. She must also pay two fines of $944, which represents the 944 days her daughters were missing.
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Evavold found guilty for her role in disappearance of Rucki sisters

Deirdre (Dede) Evavold was convicted this afternoon on six counts of depravation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

It took the jury at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hasting less than an hour to convict Evavold on all criminal counts she faced.

Evavold showed no emotion when the verdict was announced, but she later broke down and started crying when Judge Karen Asphaug remanded Evavold into immediate custody.

A Dakota County Sheriff’s Deputy needed to help Evavold stand, as she was visibly shaken and distraught. Evavold was removed from the courtroom and booked into jail in Hastings.

Evavold will remain in custody without bail until her sentencing hearing on November 10, 2016.

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Grazzini-Rucki sentenced to jail for role in disappearance of daughters

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was sentenced by Judge Karen Asphaug to serve 34 days in jail and for the following six years, she will serve 15 days in jail on November 18 for the next six years – the anniversary of the day her daughters were found, for her involvement in the disappearance of her two daughters for over two years.

Grazzini-Rucki, who was immediately taken into custody, will also be on probation for the next six years, and she is prohibited from having contacting with any of the victims.

Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty in July on six counts of deprivation of parental rights related to 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. Continue reading

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki files fraudulent harassment order to prevent media coverage

Earlier this afternoon, a Dakota County Deputy Sheriff served me with a harassment restraining order that was granted by Judge John McBride in Washington County at the request of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who was convicted of six felony counts in July for deprivations of parental rights.

It is my belief that Grazzini-Rucki filed the fraudulent petition to prevent me from continuing to report on the legal developments in her criminal trial and others who have been criminally charged related to the disappearance Grazzini-Rucki’s children.

Today’s development is another sad example of Grazzini-Rucki’s documented behavior of using the court process to make false allegations against people she does not like.

During her criminal trial in July, Grazzini-Rucki admitted in testimony that she had repeatedly been “dishonest” when she previously testified under oath in her divorce and custody proceeding.  Continue reading

How the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling helped find the Rucki sisters

Like many of you, I was saddened to learn the news yesterday that Patty Wetterling had confirmed the body of her long-lost son, 11-year Jacob Wetterling, had been recovered.

According to media reports, Danny Heinrich, who has been labeled a “person of interest” by law enforcement in the disappearance of Jacob, led authorities to the remains of his body.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office confirmed last evening that Jacob’s body has been recovered, but it was Patty Wetterling’s statement earlier in the day which ended the search for her son, a search which began over 26 years ago. Continue reading

Court allows audio and video coverage of Grazzini-Rucki’s sentencing hearing

Judge Karen Asphaug has granted a request to allow audio and video coverage of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s upcoming sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for September 21, 2016.

Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty last month on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights related to 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.

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.

According to Judge Asphaug’s order, there will be “no audio or video coverage of any victim testimony given during the proceedings.” Judge Apshaug’s order also states that any “audio/video coverage shall be limited to the proceedings conducted within the courtroom…”

Audio or video coverage is also “is prohibited during recesses or at any other time the trial judge is not present and presiding” and any audio or video coverage “shall not extend to activities occurring in other areas of the court building.” Continue reading

Attorney: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki used donated ‘food stamp cards’ for $50K bail

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was able to post her $50,000 bail within hours of being convicted of six felonies for deprivation of parental rights, by using donated “food stamp cards” according to her attorney, Michelle MacDonald.

Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty last week on six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights related to 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 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. Rucki was reunited with his daughters days after they were found and they live with him at the family’s home in Lakeville.

After the guilty verdict was announced, Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathyrn Keena said Grazzini-Rucki was a flight risk and asked for Grazzini-Rucki to be held in custody until her sentencing hearing on September 21, 2016.

Picture source: Dakota County Sheriff's Office
Picture source: Dakota County Sheriff’s Office

Keena noted it took nearly two months for law enforcement to find Grazzini-Rucki after an arrest warrant was issued for her last August. Grazzini-Rucki was eventually found at the Star Island Resort and Club in Kissimmee, Florida on October 18, 2015 and extradited back to Minnesota to await her trial.

Grazzini-Rucki was immediately taken into custody after Judge Karen Ashaug said Grazzini-Rucki would be required to post bail of $100,000 to be released without probationary conditions, or $50,000 to be released with probationary conditions.

Court documents show Grazzini-Rucki posted a $50,000 bail bond and was released from jail just hours after being convicted. Grazzini-Rucki repeatedly claimed in court that she had no money, income or home.

Grazzini-Rucki criminal defense attorney, Stephen Grigsby, said in court that he was not being paid to serve as her attorney and Grazzini-Rucki had many of her court fees waived after the judge approved her request to proceed “In Forma Pauperis.”

In response to a request for comment about how Grazzini-Rucki was able to post bail, MacDonald said a woman who was at the trial collected donations for Grazzini-Rucki, which included “food stamp cards.” MacDonald said the donations were brought to a bail bondsman by the woman at the trial, but the bail bondsman would not accept payment in that form. Continue reading