In February 2015, Dustin Chauncey was convicted of Child Abuse Resulting in Death- more than six years after 2-year-old Juliette Geurts died from blunt force trauma injuries.
Today, the Nebraska Supreme Court heard arguments from Chauncey’s attorney citing four issues that he believes arose during the trial.
Todd Lancaster with the Nebraska Commission of Public Advocacy spoke in front of the high court on Thursday morning. He argued the following issues:
- Scotts Bluff County District Court erred by not granting Chauncey’s motion to dismiss his indictment due to the grand jury’s finding of probable cause not being support by court records.
- Scotts Bluff County District Court erred by not granting Chauncey’s motion to quash the indictment on irregularities including the appointment of special prosecutor Jim Zimmerman was improper and was done without statutory authorization. Lancaster also argues that during the grand jury proceedings, Zimmerman improperly misled the jury in advising them what law and penalties applied to the case.
- Scotts Bluff County District Court erred by not granting Chauncey’s motion in limine prohibited the prosecution from submitting evidence regarding sperm DNA being presented at the trial.
- The prosecution committed misconduct by disobeying the district court’s order concerning sperm DNA being presented to the jury and the district court erred by not granting Chauncey’s motion for a mistrial after the prosecution committed misconduct.
After the week-long trial, Chauncey was found guilty and sentenced to 80 years to life in prison. It could take weeks or months for the Nebraska Supreme Court to make a ruling on this appeal.