Old Law Gets Iowa Man a New Trial

Robert Reynolds, who was charged with killing a family friend in 2014, will have his new trial held in Avoca, Iowa, rather than Council Bluffs. This change occurred after he appealed based on a law from the 1880s that split Pottawattamie County by east and west, allowing everyone to be able to reach their courthouse within a day on horse.

His appeal argued that based on the rarely used old law, he was tried in the wrong location. The appeals court agreed, and his retrial has been set to be held in the old east county seat, Avoca. The only problem is that Avoca’s courthouse is not able to handle this case. As a substitute, Reynolds’ trial will be held in the community room inside Avoca City Hall.

Since this appeal, the Iowa legislature has changed the law to make Council Bluffs the only county seat in Pottawattamie County.

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