Archive for Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Judge hears motions in assault case against former KU student

Prosecutors say Matthew Jaeger, trained in the Brazilian martial art of jiu-jitsu, had a history of using a sleeper hold on his ex-girlfriend to knock her unconscious, and they pleaded with a judge Wednesday to allow that evidence to be heard at his upcoming trial.

June 17, 2009, 10:58 a.m. Updated June 17, 2009, 4:32 p.m.


Matthew Jaeger: Guilty Verdict

More coverage of the trial of a former Kansas University student accused of beating and kidnapping his ex-girlfriend.

Prosecutors say Matthew Jaeger, trained in the Brazilian martial art of jiu-jitsu, had a history of using a sleeper hold on his ex-girlfriend to knock her unconscious, and they pleaded with a judge Wednesday to allow that evidence to be heard at his upcoming trial.

“He had the skill, ability and knowledge to perform the choke hold so she would be unconscious immediately, and he’d done it to her before,” Asst. Attorney General Nola Wright said.

Prosecutors hope they’ll be allowed to present evidence of Jaeger’s violent history with the victim and other women when his case goes to trial the end of July.

Jaeger, who was 22 at the time of the incident, is charged with aggravated battery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary and criminal threat.

He’s accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in the 1200 block of George Court in October 2007, brutally attacking her after finding her with another man and then dragging her outside to a waiting car.

She suffered massive injuries to her vagina and pelvic region. Prosecutors have called her injuries among the most horrific they’ve seen.

The attorney general’s office has also taken the unusual step of filing a motion asking the judge to impose a harsher sentence if there is a conviction in the case.

It’s a request Judge Robert Fairchild has never heard before in his courtroom.

Prosecutors are arguing that due to the excessive brutality of the crime, Jaeger deserves a longer sentence than allowed by Kansas sentencing guidelines.

It’s an issue that would have to be decided by jurors, similar to a capital murder case.

Fairchild said he’ll make the decision on whether to allow jurors to consider imposing an upward departure, after listening to all evidence in the case.

Jaeger, who remains out of jail after posting $850,000 bond, was back in Douglas County District Court for Wednesday morning’s hearing.

Wearing a suit, he sat at the defense table with his three attorneys.

Defense Attorney Pedro Irigonegaray argued several motions of his own.

Irigonegaray asked the judge to keep evidence of weapons seized from the defendant’s car out of trial. When police officers stopped the vehicle and found the victim injured inside, they also recovered a knife from the back seat of the car, near where the victim was seated.

“There is no evidence at all that this weapon was used in this incident,” Irigonegaray said. “It’s prejudicial to the jury and has nothing to do with the alleged crime.”

Fairchild ruled the evidence will most likely not be allowed at trial.

Irigonegaray was also asking for the opportunity to individually question every potential juror.

“We’re not going to do that,” Fairchild said. “We’re not going to spend months picking a jury in this case.”

Fairchild said court officials do plan on summoning nearly double the number of potential jurors for this case -- between 120 and 150 people will be called in.

The case, which is slated to last three weeks, is scheduled to begin July 27.

Later this month, Fairchild will take up another motion filed by the defense in an attempt to suppress statements Jaeger made to police. A hearing on that issue is scheduled for June 29.


bluerose 8 years, 8 months ago

i really hope to see this spoiled, violent, evil richBrat FRIED.

sigh ... but his rich daddy has probably hired a powerful attorney.

some justice system.

bluerose 8 years, 8 months ago

ok - sorry - i didn't mean fried literally - in the chair. but punished HUGELY. please.

midwestmom 8 years, 8 months ago

How can the weapons in the car not be considered? It was just a 'coincidence' that they were in the car he used to get to her apartment? I don't think anyone can believe that. He intended to inflict even greater harm or maybe even kill her.

Jaeger is a violent, sadistic, dangerous person. I hope he gets the maximum sentence allowed. As a mother of daughters - Jaeger is the embodiment of a nightmare boyfriend. I don't believe any woman in his life is safe, now or in the future.

I sincerely hope his previous acts of violence are allowed to be presented to the jury. It clearly shows his normal behavior and that the crime he is being prosecuted for is not an anomaly, but rather just another horrible violent act committed upon an unfortunate woman by this sick person.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 8 months ago

Midwestmom, this guy seems creepy enough that he may have had weapons in his car on a regular basis. I'm guessing that they weren't used on the victim which is why they are considered irrelevant.

What kind of attorney would stand in defense of this monster?? Obviously an ambulance chaser who will do anything for a buck. Sad, isn't it?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 8 months ago

I mostly just don't want this guy living in Lawrence ever again.

Danimal 8 years, 8 months ago

We used to have ways of dealing with people like this as a society, but today everyone has their bleeding hearts. I'm sure we're going to hear all about how hard it was growing up in a wealthy family in Chicago and competing in Brazilian Jujitsu competitions. His expensive lawyers and our lenient courts will get him some kind of reduced sentence. Too bad abortions in the 88th trimester are illegal.

ebyrdstarr 8 years, 8 months ago

Kam, the 6th Amendment guarantees every criminal defendant the assistance of counsel. Why is it sad that there are defense attorneys who will honor the 6th Amendment?

Eric Neuteboom 8 years, 8 months ago

You were right the first time bluerose...he should fry.

What a despicable person. One can only hope justice will be served.

sinverguenza 8 years, 8 months ago

I bet there won't be many people trying to get out of their civic duty on this one. I'd take leave without pay to serve.

Sigmund 8 years, 8 months ago

"Defense Attorney Pedro Irigonegaray argued several motions of his own."

He is one of the best and most expensive "criminal attorneys" around, and I use that phrase very, very precisely. This is one of those cases that I don't much care what the prosecution has to do to get a conviction. I'd probably commit perjury during Voir Dire just to get on the jury.

volunteer 8 years, 8 months ago

Had to chuckle at the comment that Pedro is one of the best.

Ask Del Weidner how good he is.

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