Attempted murder charge dropped

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 17, 2000

Robert W.

Friday, November 17, 2000

Robert W. "Bobby" Newman is a free man after attempted murder and assault charges were dropped against the 52-year-old Austin man.

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Newman was charged with one count of attempted murder in the second degree and one count of second-degree assault after an incident at the Sterling Motel on Feb. 29.

According to an Austin Police Department report, Newman assaulted a roommate at the Sterling Motel with an ax after an argument ensued between the two men.

Newman was arrested and jailed on the attempted murder and assault charges.

A public defender was appointed to represent him in court and immediately challenged the charges, saying his client was drunk at the time of the attack.

The case was scheduled for trial this month until the state of Minnesota made a request Nov. 8 that the charges be dismissed.

The victim, who recovered from injuries received in the ax attack, left the area and his whereabouts are unknown.

On Nov. 8, a judge ordered the charges dismissed and Newman released immediately.

Austin Police Chief Paul M. Philipp told reporters Thursday that it is not the responsibility of the department to keep track of victims of crimes who are slated to testify in court. "That would be the Mower County attorney’s responsibility," he said.

He did say the department picked up a witness at a recent methamphetamine manufacture and distribution criminal trial and drove the witness to a local motel, where she stayed until her participation in the criminal trial was completed.

"However," he added, "normally that’s not something we do with victims in such cases."