The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 21, 2014

One man cleared, another sentenced for DeWitt reception fights

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer and Charlene Bielema Herald Editor
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Two separate cases that emerged from incidents at the same wedding reception last year have made their way through Clinton County District Court, with one man found not guilty of assault and another given jail time.

A jury found Christopher J. Watts, 26, of DeWitt, not guilty Thursday on charges of assault without intent causing serious injury and disorderly conduct in connection with the June 22, 2013 incident.

According to a court affidavit, Watts was charged with the assault because of an incident with William C. Edwards outside of a wedding reception at the Clinton County Fairgrounds in DeWitt.

Arresting officer Sergeant Shia Cruciani and reserve officer Devin Wagner were dispatched to the fairgrounds during the June 22 reception. Upon further investigation it was determined that Watts allegedly committed an act which intentionally resulted in physical contact with Edwards that subsequently caused serious injury.

According to the affidavit, Watts was sitting in the passenger seat of a van when he came into contact with Edwards, grabbing him with one or both of his hands from inside the vehicle. While Watts had a hold of Edwards, the driver of the van began to move forward, causing him to fall.

Watts also was found not guilty on a charge of disorderly conduct for loud and raucous noise associated with the fight that police said caused unreasonable distress to the wedding attendees.

In a separate case, Michael G. Postell, 30, of rural DeWitt, was accused of serious assault and public intoxication, second offense, in connection with a separate incident at the reception. Officers were dispatched based on a report that Postell hit the caller’s father, according to court documents.

Law enforcement met with the victim and observed a significant face and eye injuring, requiring immediate medical attention, according to the affidavit. The victim told officers he did not know the name of the man who hit him.

Witnesses said Postell left the scene on foot and was intoxicated, according to court documents. He was last seen wearing jeans and no shirt.

The affidavit continues that Postell was located just west of the fairgrounds. He told officers he was drinking beer and declined a breathalyzer test, according to court documents. He denied any involvement in an assault.

He pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to assault causing bodily injury and public intoxication. He was ordered to serve 180 days in the Clinton County Jail, with 165 days suspended and credit given for one day served. He is to complete 12 months of probation and pay a $315 fine on the assault charge and another $315 fine for the public intoxication charge. The sentences will be served concurrently. He also is to pay $300 restitution. He was accused June 23 by DeWitt police.