The son of an Earlville man will be allowed to testify in his dad’s murder trial.
Todd Mullis’ trial is set to begin September 16th in Dubuque County District Court. He is charged with First Degree Murder in the death of his wife, Amy, who died last November. Todd is accused of stabbing Amy in the back with a corn rake on their Earlville farm.
His 13-year old son was working with the couple on their farm the day of her death. He was one who found her with her injuries.
The counselor for the child, Tristin Hodges, started seeing the boy in May and has seen him on fourteen separate occasions. She testified that any 13-year old child in this situation would suffer increased trauma and emotional distress by being required to testify under such circumstances.
The Court received arguments from each party, but District Court Judge Thomas Bitter says the charge is a Class A felony and the child appears to be a critical witness.
Judge Bitter decided that the defense is permitted to take videotaped testimony of Mullis’ son, with only the attorneys, Hodges and the court reporter allowed to be present. Mullis may be permitted to hear or watch his son’s testimony from another location without his son’s knowledge.
The judge has not yet made a decision on whether either party can call the child to testify at the trial later this month.