New trial for former Iron River trooper
By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON MOUNTAIN – The Michigan Attorney General’s Office will not contest the Michigan Court of Appeals’ decision to grant former Michigan State Police trooper David Morikawa a new trial on criminal sexual conduct charges.
In August, the Michigan Court of Appeals found that Morikawa, 39, had ineffective assistance of counsel during his July 2011 trial in Iron County on two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct-second degree.
Judges Michael Talbot, Kathleen Jansen, and Patrick Meter ordered that the case be reversed and remanded for a new trial.
Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, said that the office had until Oct. 22 to file an application with the Michigan Supreme Court to request that it hear the case.
However, the office has decided that it will re-try the case in Iron County Trial Court, she said.
“It’s still early in the process, we’re still waiting on details,” said Yearout. “There’s no trial date set yet.”
She added that an attorney in the Michigan Attorney General’s criminal division will prosecute the new case. Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell did not handle the original case, due to a conflict of interest.
Following Morikawa’s conviction in 2011, he was sentenced to serve a minimum of one year and eight months in prison.
He is currently out of prison and on parole.
Morikawa, who used to work as a trooper at the now-closed Michigan State Police Iron River post, was accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl at his home in Crystal Falls in July 2009.
Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.