Prosecutor Pushes McIver Case Forward

Prosecutors today won a motion to require Marlaina Kiner-McIver to give a deposition in the domestic violence case against her husband, Council member Richard McIver. District Court Judge Linda Thompson also moved McIver?s trial, which had been scheduled to begin Monday, to January 14 to give time for the deposition to take place.

McIver has pled not guilty to fourth-degree assault. Efforts by the prosecution to keep the case alive are being called political by attorneys for both the council member and his wife.

But King County Deputy Prosecutor David Martin argued that the deposition was necessary since ?it appears Mrs. Kiner-McIver is not going to obey this court?s subpoena.? (Prosecutors have agreed that without her testimony they won't be able to use what she told police when they responded to the McIver home early Oct. 10.)

Kiner-McIver?s lawyer Vonda Sargent told the court her client won?t ignore the subpoena to testify, but stood by an earlier statement that Kiner-McIver won?t participate in the prosecution of her husband. Sargent explained later that her client would obey the court?s request to appear, but likely take the Fifth Amendment so she won?t have to testify.

?A case that you are going to be able to charge out, you should be able to prove without the presence of the alleged victim,? Sargent said after the hearing. If not, she says, domestic violence cases are customarily dropped. She called the prosecutor?s move ?grandstanding.?

"I don't want to be flip, but this is not the trial of the century," Sargent said.

Sargent wasn't alone in thinking so. There were audible grumbles from the crowded courtroom from others waiting in line for other cases to be heard. Said one lawyer, "You'd think this was a felony case or something," before adding that this case never would've gone this far if it didn't involve a public official.

Both McIver and Kiner-McIver were in court today. They seemed to intentionally avoid eye contact and per the no-contact order, which is still in force, said nothing to each other when they passed in the hallway. McIver has been staying for nearly two months at the house of a family friend in their South Seattle neighborhood. He said not having any contact with his wife has been difficult. There have been no motions to remove or relax the no-contact order over the holidays.

Sargent said pushing the case forward is a waste of time and money and indicated that her client will also likely plead the Fifth during the deposition.

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