Attorney Nicholas Passe Wins Dual Not Guilty Jury Verdict in Felony Theft Trial
Press Release: March 22, 2012
On March 14, 2012, Attorney Nicholas Passe of Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. won not guilty verdicts in a felony theft jury trial. The case, State of Wisconsin vs. Kao Xiong, La Crosse County Circuit Court case #10-CF-109, involved a young man accused of having wrongfully withheld a vehicle and money belonging to another. By successfully managing the admissibility and introduction of evidence
and effective witness testimony management at court hearings, the jury was left with little choice but to acquit Attorney Passe’s client.
Says Attorney Passe: “In hindsight, the trial was mostly won before the jury selection hearing. By doing a thorough investigation, we were able to determine one key mystery witness’s identity. That identification led to information which was the basis for a successful motion to allow the introduction of evidence at trial that the witness was possibly the culprit in the case. The court’s ruling on the motion lead to a negotiated stipulation which allowed me to point the finger at that witness without needing to get his testimony at trial.
By successfully arguing motions to allow evidence of certain other events and facts and to kee
p out evidence of certain other events, we were able to preserve the apparent integrity of my client and cast suspicion on the prosecution’s case.”
A third motion lead to a ruling allowing Attorney Passe to explore law enforcement’s failure to adequately investigate the case and helped explain away the defendant not having receipts for items he claimed to have bought. “Having the intake police officer acknowledge that no officers apparently even tried to gather forensic evidence or locate the defendant or speak to an eye-witness neighbor or follow up with the victims didn’t hurt our case. This “Mini-CSI defense” can be used in some cases to cast dou
bt on the credibility of whatever evidence does exist.”
With pre-trial maneuvering complete, a jury was selected and the trial began. Using evidence of bias and prior inconsistent statements and how one witness seemed to want to avoid giving evidence, prosecution witnesses’ credibility suffered. Unable to find that the state had proven its case beyond a reaso
nable doubt, the jury returned its not guilty verdicts on both counts less than an hour after receiving the case from the judge.
“I hope to be able to use my skills and my reputation as an effective pre-trial and trial attorney to achieve favorable outcomes for my clients now and in the future. I would like to thank Dan Mitley of Confidential Investigations for his good work in helping achieve this outcome.”
Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. is a full service law firm which has been helping individuals, business
es and other organization in southwest Wisconsin and Southeast Minnesota advance their goals and protect their interests since 1853. “Trust us to be there for you.”
Disclaimer: Each case is different and is resolved on its merits using the evidence which is both available and admissible. The outcome of one case is of limited value in determining the likely outcome of any other case. Attorney Passe takes pride in his practice but can not guaranty any particular outcome in any particular case.