Posts tagged Stephen Grigsby

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

Additional criminal charges filed against Evavold in disappearance of missing sisters

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office has filed additional criminal charges against Dede (Deidre) Evavold for her involvement in the disappearance of two sisters from Lakeville.

Four additional felony charges of  deprivation of parental rights have been filed against Evavold, who has now been charged with a total of six felony counts for her involvement in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared on April 19, 2013, during a custody and divorce dispute involving their parents.

Evavold is a close friend and confidant of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, the mother of Samantha and Gianna, who she met during Grazzini-Rucki’s divorce with David Rucki.

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Attorney complaint filed against Michelle MacDonald

A 16-page petition for disciplinary action for violating of rules governing attorney conduct has been filed against Michelle MacDonald by the Director of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, Susan M. Humiston.

The complaint against MacDonald is focused on her behavior during family court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her legal representation of Joseph Francis D’Costa. The complaint alleges MacDonald disorganization required the trial to last longer than necessary, adding that MacDonald offered exhibits that “were a mess.”

MacDonald’s attorney told Minnesota Lawyer that she will fight the complaint.

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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

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