As of Tuesday, January 2, 2018
DALLAS — Michu Uaiyue and Matthew McDaniel, both of Falls City, pleaded not guilty in Polk County Circuit Court to charges listed in new indictments.
Uaiyue now faces eight charges: Three counts of second-degree assault, three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, one count of fourth-degree assault and one court of tampering with a witness.
McDaniel’s indictment listed first-degree criminal mistreatment, fourth-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing. He is charged with two counts of first-degree sex abuse in a separate case, charges to which McDaniel has pleaded not guilty.
All three cases involve the same teenaged girl.
Uaiyue and McDaniel were arrested on Dec. 7 after the girl, 16, told police of abuse she suffered by the defendants since January 2015. Her statements were made during a child abuse assessment at Liberty House in December.
The grand jury indictments were issued on Dec. 13, following arraignments in early December on the original charges filed.
According to court documents, the victim described physical abuse by both defendants, sexual abuse by McDaniel, and an incident during which Uaiyue forced her to recant what she told police officers about a December 2016 abuse case against McDaniel. Taking back her story resulted in that case being dropped.
Thursday during Uaiyue's arraignment, Polk County Deputy District Attorney Sarah Lundstedt requested the defendant be put back in jail on bail amounts appropriate to the severity of the Measure 11 crimes she is accused. She was released from jail because the court couldn’t find an interpreter for Uaiyue, who speaks the Akha language, in time for an in-custody arraignment on the indictment.
An interpreter was available by phone to translate for Thursday’s hearing in Polk County Courtroom No. 4.
“The state’s understanding is the that the defendant was released because we couldn’t locate an interpreter in time to get her arraigned (while) in custody,” Lundstedt said. “I’m asking that the defendant be held on the minimum amount of bail and have a statement from the victim’s foster father regarding release.”
Lundstedt read the statement, which also requested Uaiyue be placed in custody.
“I feel that if she is released, she will pursue (the victim) and use violence, up to and including death, in order to get her to recant,” Lundstedt read. “She has used violence against (the victim) in the past in order to get her to recant to an injury that she caused her. She will ignore any orders of the court. A piece of paper will not keep (the victim) safe.”
Judge Monte Campbell decided against putting Uaiyue back in jail, after confirming that she understood the stipulation that she is not to contact the victim in the case.
“I’m not going to take you into custody, but if you have any contact with (the victim) in any way, then you go back to jail and you will stay there until this case is resolved,” Campbell said.
When told that through a translator, the translator said: “She says she wants to tell her story. She said she can’t speak English, and now she has an interpreter so now she wants to tell her story.”
“Will she agree not to have contact with the victim in the case?” Uaiyue’s attorney Martin Habekost asked through the interpreter.
Uaiyue asked how she was supposed to tell her story if she can’t have contact with anyone involved, according to the interpreter.
“Ma’am, real simple question: Will you have contact with (the victim) if I release you?” Campbell asked.
“I will not have contact with her for the rest of my life,” Uaiyue said through the interpreter.
McDaniel entered not guilty pleas during a separate hearing. He’s also been released and ordered not to contact the victim.
Both defendants will be back in court on Monday for pretrial conferences.