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Skaluba: New trial denied, appeals process up next

Submitted by on October 17, 2019 – 3:34 amNo Comment

A motion for a new trial in the People versus Nicholas Skaluba of Alpena was denied Wednesday morning.
Skaluba was convicted by a jury in May, of drugging and then sexually assaulting two teenage girls at an underage drinking party.
Defense attorney Matthew Wojda presented the court Wednesday, with a list of points for why his client deserved a new trial, with a focus on prosecutorial and juror misconduct. Wojda believes some of the commentary by Prosecutor Ed Black during closing arguments rose to the level of misconduct. Presiding Judge George Mertz ruled that while some comments came close to impropriety, they did not cross that line.
Another argument that a juror had allegedly said they thought Skaluba was guilty, prior to any testimony, was also struck down by Mertz.
Skaluba will now take his case to the Court of Appeals, a process that will likely take more than a year.
Skaluba was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison. He is serving his time at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights.