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Evidence challenged in shooting of officer

Judge will decide admissibility ahead of trial in ’11 killing

King

A judge is weighing whether to allow a jury to see evidence collected from the home and vehicle of a woman accused in the 2011 wounding of a Waterloo police officer by her boyfriend and his death at the hands of police.

There are still months to go before Julie King stands trial in DeKalb County on charges of felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder and aiding in attempted murder.

In the past few months, King’s attorney has been busy filing motions to fight the case.

On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Monte Brown heard arguments from both sides on whether evidence gathered in the case should be admitted in the trial. King’s attorney said the search warrant obtained that night was not valid, so the evidence should be excluded.

The evidence includes drug paraphernalia, guns, knives and ammunition. It was collected after King, 34, and Ralph Hardiek were shot by police in December 2011. They were hiding under a porch in Waterloo after police say Hardiek shot Waterloo Deputy Marshal Stephen Brady in the face.

Earlier that morning, the couple knocked on the door of a woman’s home in Waterloo, asking for help in getting their car freed from the mud. The woman declined to help them but later told Brady at a nearby gas station, and the veteran officer went to look for the couple.

He found them near Railroad and Center streets. As he asked King for her identification, Hardiek shot him in the face, police said.

Another officer found Brady, and multiple officers responded to the area looking for Hardiek and King. They were found huddled together under a porch. Police said Hardiek brandished a handgun at officers, and police fired into the area under the porch.

Hardiek was killed and King was taken to a hospital in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

The couple was reportedly looking for money to get to Utah so Hardiek could avoid prison time. He skipped a sentencing hearing a few days earlier in Noble County on a charge of dealing methamphetamine. Hardiek was to have gone to prison for about six years, according to the terms of his plea agreement.

According to court documents, King is charged with felony murder – participating in a crime in which Hardiek was killed.

A robbery cited by prosecutors in their decision to charge King with felony murder occurred in Coldwater, Mich., about 10 hours before Hardiek was killed, according to court documents.

King’s public defender, Dan Pappas, asked Brown to dismiss the entire case, arguing that the Coldwater robbery was not close enough in time to the shooting death of Hardiek to meet the standard for felony murder.

“It was the fact that Hardiek shot a police officer that incited the state to reach for the golden ring in its decision to charge King with murder,” Pappas argued in his motion, adding that King faced a greater prison sentence for Hardiek’s death than Hardiek would have gotten for injuring Brady had Hardiek survived.

In December, Pappas asked Brown to suppress King’s statements to police, saying she was under the influence of drugs used to treat her injuries.

Pappas also asked for a change of venue, citing the amount of pretrial publicity.

Brown denied those motions. In doing so, Brown said he found that the robbery and the shooting death of Hardiek were not so disconnected.

In February, Pappas asked the court to dismiss the evidence collected from searches of King’s home, purse and vehicle.

Pappas argued the searches were illegal because officers failed to tell the judge of all the pertinent facts. Had the judge known all the facts, a search warrant would not have been issued, Pappas argued in his motion.

Brown heard arguments on that motion earlier this week and took the matter under advisement.

rgreen@jg.net

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