Court hearing held on sanctions against Michelle MacDonald

Judge Karen Asphaug heard arguments in a Dakota County courtroom today regarding the Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions filed against Michelle MacDonald in response to her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota.

Judge Asphaug said she would be making a decision before our hearing on September 10 in Ramsey County regarding sanctions against MacDonald.

MacDonald’s attorney, Karlowba R. Adams Powell, made numerous false statements in court today and seemed unfamiliar with the messy procedural history created by MacDonald’s lawsuit. Adams Powell falsely claimed our attorney, Nathan Hansen filed duplicative pleadings in Dakota and Ramsey County. She also claimed Hansen was “harassing” MacDonald and accused him of “unprofessional conduct.”

Hansen corrected Adams Powell on her inaccurate statements in court.

MacDonald declines to answer questions about her representation of Grazzini-Rucki

After the hearing, and in the presence of both our attorney and MacDonald’s attorney, I asked MacDonald a few questions in the front lobby of the Dakota County Judicial Center. Multiple deputies with the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office we present during our brief exchange. Ten days ago, I wrote on Twitter that I planned on asking MacDonald questions at the courthouse about the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. We were scheduled to interview MacDonald last November, but she abruptly canceled and refused to reschedule the interview.

MacDonald served as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney the entire 944 days the Rucki kids were missing. I asked MacDonald why she never asked Sandra in any court hearings if she knew the location of her missing daughters. In response to my question, MacDonald said, “no comment.”

MacDonald laughs on voicemail message: If I had a gun, I might shoot David Rucki’s attorney

I also asked MacDonald about a voicemail she left for Dede Evavold during the time the Rucki kids were missing. In the voicemail message left by MacDonald on Dede Evavold’s phone on September 24, 2015, MacDonald makes a sinister joke about wanting to kill David Rucki’s attorney, Lisa Elliott. Specifically, MacDonald said, “you know, if I had a gun, I might shoot her, just because she’s so, I just hate her.” MacDonald then laughs and says, “she shouldn’t even be alive.”

Below is the audio of the voicemail.

Evavold was later convicted for her role in the disappearance of the Rucki children. MacDonald was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the crime. MacDonald’s law license was later suspended related to her involvement in representing Grazzini-Rucki. In contrast, Elliott was named one of Minnesota Lawyer’s Attorneys of the Year for 2017 for her work on the same case.

While refusing to answer my questions, MacDonald and her attorney made allegations that she was being “bullied.” We walked with our attorney to our vehicles in the parking lot and left. MacDonald walked to a separate area of the parking lot with her attorney. The entire exchange lasted less than 2 minutes and was done in the presence of two attorneys and law enforcement.

We should have a decision from the court in the next few weeks. We believe MacDonald’s lawsuit is an attempt to stop our writing about the disappearance of missing children. We will aggressively defend our right to publish by continuing to publish.

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for updates on MacDonald’s lawsuit.

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

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