Some Karl Hartman Charges Dropped

Some Karl Hartman charges went away when one of the victims didn’t show up to testify in court.

Contrary to what the Upnorthlive article said, it isn’t up to a victim to decide whether to go forward in a case. Charges are brought by the State of Michigan. In this case the representative is the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor. When a witness has been placed on a subpoena, and then doesn’t actually show up, the prosecutor has the option to request a show cause proceeding so that the witness can explain why they didn’t appear. The prosecutor didn’t give any mention of their intent to hold the witness accountable for ignoring the subpoena. So its the prosecutor’s choice not to go forward on the charges and take efforts to have the witness in court.

What do you think? Should the prosecutor just let the charges go when an accuser doesn’t show up in court? Should an accuser be held responsible when they fail to show up for court?

The problem is that the prosecutor has shredded their credibility to the point that it’s hard to know what to think about the Hartman case. The prosecutor sure ran to the media awfully fast to talk about the probation violation of the century that wasn’t. And they’ve publicized the case to death in the press when they shouldn’t have. So it’s hard to know what to think about the Hartman charges at this point. I hope justice wins in the end, whatever it is. All too often, it doesn’t.

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4 thoughts on “Some Karl Hartman Charges Dropped”

  1. The Moeggenberg era does seem to be characterized by two things; highly sensationalistic statements and grandstanding in the media, and subsequent embarassment and failure in court.

    Worse, this is becoming a trend.

    Cases that come to mind are the targetting of the jail guard in the Ritter case, and this case. Perhaps there are others that have slipped my mind?

    Disagree? Make your case.

  2. Grandstanding and sensationalization are par for the course for the PA’s office (except, of course, for Captain Ritter – don’t all wish we had the good ol’ boy super-powers he appears to have).

    Unfortunately for many, there isn’t subsequent PA failure in court. They just get stuck taking a terrible plea bargain, guilt or innocence be damned.

    More seriously, I do not think an accuser should be penalized for not showing up in court. If they truly are a victim, showing up in court may cause more trauma. If they don’t show up, however, it seems fair to drop the charges and let the accused move on with their life, too.

    And if they’re simply an accuser and their accusations aren’t quite truthful, well everyone should go on with their lives.

    Victims should have more say than they do – sometimes victims want something different than the local DA is willing to offer. Harsh punishment isn’t healing to all and many victims don’t find it helps. Our system players listen to victims when it advances their political agenda to do so. Otherwise, victims and offenders are both screwed.

  3. Hartman worked at Kingsley in both the Elementary and Middle schools for close to 30 years. His fellow staff knew him professionally and personally very well. There isn’t a single employee in that district who thinks he’s capable of any of the claims made.

    Something to consider…a school principle is bound to piss off more than a few kids and parents in twenty years in that role no matter what they do…

  4. According to the Record Eagle today, Moeggenberg blows it again.

    Apparently providing the defense photos of a murder crime scene is a monumental effort for her office.

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