There is a showdown brewing in Box Butte County, Nebraska. On one side are prosecutors has a standing case against a defendant and on the other is Val McCabe who just wants to stand. Val, and his brilliantly named wife Muffy Buckles, are suing the county for his leg back despite the prosecutors insistence that it is evidence being held by the Alliance Police Department.
McCabe, 58, was shot five times by a group of kids. He was hit in the upper left arm, his left groin, right buttock, right scapula and a bullet also penetrated his below-the-knee left leg prosthesis. Doctors will not allow him to use crutches due to the danger popping his stitches. Worse yet, his house cannot accommodate a wheelchair so he needs the prosthetic to get around. The leg cost $28,000 and took weeks to custom build and fit.
Box Butte County Attorney Kathleen Hutchinson said no (clearly finding no problem with standing for McCabe). Clearly there must be testing of the bullet and prosecutors are concerned about chain of custody. However, the bullet was already removed. Once removed, photographs, videotapes, and other means could be used to establish the evidence. Moreover, given the hits all over his body, the leg is not absolutely essential to the trial. Finally, if properly documented, it can still be used as an exhibit.
Box Butte County District Judge Brian Silverman clearly agreed and ordered the leg returned.
It is not clear why Hutchinson would adopt such an inflexible position (no pun intended) but the court clearly found that she had no leg to stand on (pun intended).
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