The difference between the 8 counts mentioned in the article and the 7 mentioned earlier is the forfeiture allegation. The feds alleged that a toy bb gun, a miniature baseball bat, and an assortment of cell phones and computer tablets belonged to Mr. Graves. The allegation in the indictment could force a surrender of the items. Feds alleged he used all those items during the course of the crimes which the jury has now definitively determined he did in fact commit. Goal is to seize all the electronics he used in the commission of the crimes he was just convicted of.
It would appear that Mr. Graves heeded the judge’s advice yesterday that if there were any more outbursts he would be removed from the court. He presented his defense today and argued for dismissal after he rested his case. Presumably he made his own closing argument.
From the article it sounds like it was a contentious day. Several witnesses shared their anger and frustration for having been called to testify. One witness threatened Mr. Graves suggesting it would be a very bad thing if they’re both on the same side of the fence, presumably assigned to the same jail at the same time.
PACER system shows minutes from a status conference on Tuesday which indicate prosecutors, standby counsel and Mr. Graves were all present. An exhibit was received and placed under seal. The judge reviewed unspecified trial matters with the defendant. Conference lasted 35 minutes.
The schedule for the federal judge presiding over the trial of Keith Graves shows the trial is the only item on his schedule for the week of October 26 through 30. Look at the listings for District Judge Hovland on the linked page.
This is a change from last week when his schedule showed three or four items at 9 am each day this week. One of those items each day was this trial. Now, those other items have been cleared.
The KFYR report says one of the women who testified on Thursday said she thought she would just be pushing drugs for Mr. Graves and not engage in prostitution. A bit more detail from the woman who said she was punished for not bringing back money: she indicated she had been selling drugs that day and was tasered three times as punishment. An FBI agent was testifying on Thursday and was expected to continue on Friday.
On day 4 of the trial, three more women testified of being abused.
Article is not as detailed as I would like, obviously. Text says one of the three avoided being trafficked and mentioned her cousin was exploited. That seems to be the same comment as yesterday, but also seems to be from a different person.
One woman testified on Tuesday, four more Wednesday, and three yesterday would equal eight witnesses, which is the number of women alleged to have been trafficked in the indictment.
On day 3 of the trial, four more women testified of being trafficked. Each of them claimed on the stand they had been sexually assaulted at least once by Mr. Graves. That leaves three allegedly trafficked women still to testify.
At least two of the women lashed out at him during cross-examination.
Lead off witness describes the incident that has gotten publicity before. Mr. Graves allegedly met her in Sydney and drove her to Williston. When she tried to talk another woman into leaving with her, Mr. Graves allegedly waved around a handgun, had the other woman inject the witness with methamphetamines, and threatened to kill both women with a miniature metal baseball bat if they left him.
The handgun subsequently turned out to be a BB gun which was found in a search of the home of former-pastor Jay Reinke on July 31. Both the BB gun and aluminum bat are mentioned in the forfeiture allegation of the criminal indictment.
Mr. Graves has a pretrial conference at 1 p.m. on 10/19 with the trial scheduled to start at 1:30. The trial is scheduled for all day from 10/20 through Friday 10/23. The trial is one of several cases scheduled each day from 10/26 through 10/30. I’m not sure what it means to have a trial and several hearings all scheduled at the same time.
Looks like trial is moving forward this week.
As of this morning, I can find zero media coverage of the trial via an internet search.
Post as of 10/16: Just looked at the PACER system. Filings through today (10/16) look to me like the trial will start as scheduled this upcoming Monday.
Jury instructions were filed and the US Attorney objected saying they want certain words included for two counts. They want “intent” added.
Trial date is still 10/19/15 for Keith Graves. No comments on PACER since the pretrial conference on 9/28.
One odd thing is there are no orders to prison officials to transport two of the allegedly trafficked women to court. When the trial was set for 7/13, there were orders issued about 30 days before the trial instructing officials to transport the two women. There are no such orders this time. Perhaps they have been released from custody.
There is an order on 9/15 to transport Mr. Graves to court.
So, looks like the trial will start a week from Monday.
I expect another continuance or a last-minute plea deal. With my limited knowledge of court procedures, I cannot imagine how Mr. Graves could possibly be ready to present a coherent defense on 10/19.
Update 10/14/15 – PACER system shows two orders issued by a judge yesterday, October 13. The first is an order for the jail officials to transfer Mr. Graves to court for the trial. The second is for another jail to transfer a named woman to court for testimony on October 22 and 23. Her name corresponds to the initials of the person mentioned in count six of the indictment. She was allegedly trafficked from about May 2014 to about July 2014.
Keith Graves is still headed towards starting his trial on October 19th. He faces 11 federal charges, which includes allegations of trafficking seven different women, possession of a controlled substance, and distribution of methamphetamines.
On September 22nd, Keith Graves standby counsel requested the trial be delayed. Reason for the requested continuance is the standby counsel was scheduled to argue a case in front of the 8th circuit Court of Appeals on the scheduled first day of the trial. The court denied the request on September 25 stating the judge had been advised by the capital Appeals Court that the hearing had been postponed.