Prosecutor moves to dismiss Weiler charge

2010-07-14T23:30:00Z 2012-01-19T11:36:37Z Prosecutor moves to dismiss Weiler chargeBy JENNY MICHAEL and REBECCA BEITSCH Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

A prosecutor has moved to dismiss a simple assault-domestic violence charge against a Bismarck legislator.

David Weiler, a Republican state representative, was charged March 12 with the Class A misdemeanor after being accused of assaulting his wife, who has sought a divorce from him.

McLean County State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson moved Wednesday to drop the charge. In an affidavit, Erickson said Weiler’s wife, Nicole, recanted her earlier statements that her husband had punched her.

“I have maintained my innocence all along,” David Weiler told the Tribune in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. He said he would comment further after Erickson’s motion is signed by a judge.

Weiler remains the subject of a citizen recall attempt.

Erickson took over the prosecution of the case after Nicole Weiler told Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Pam Nesvig and a victim advocate on May 20 that her husband had not hit her, making Nesvig a potential witness for the defense. The state’s attorney’s office asked the Bismarck Police Department to further investigate the alleged assault and Nicole Weiler’s new statements.

“Nicole Weiler’s May 20th statement and additional circumstantial evidence not available to the prosecution at the time this charge was filed, now suggests David Weiler is innocent of this charge,” Erickson’s affidavit said.

Erickson wrote in the affidavit that he spoke with David Weiler and his attorney, Justin Roness, on July 5. In that conversation, and subsequent phone conversations, they discussed whether Nicole Weiler should be charged with making a false report to law enforcement.

“Upon having time to consider the matter, David Weiler believes his children have been put through enough trauma already and does not want to subject his children to anything that might inhibit their ability to get past this incident,” Erickson said. David Weiler would prefer that the matter be closed so he can “try and get his life back,” Erickson’s affidavit said.

Police reports said Nicole Weiler had a bruise under her left eye and a cut on her left eyebrow from the March incident. Erickson’s Wednesday motion to dismiss did not discuss what had caused her injuries. Erickson was out of the office and not available for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Nicole Weiler did not return a message left at her office seeking comment on Wednesday.

David Weiler pleaded guilty in April 2009 to Class B misdemeanor simple assault for assaulting his wife on March 27, 2009. He was given a one-year deferred imposition of sentence and was ordered to complete domestic violence offender treatment, which he did.

David Weiler was first elected to the state House in 2000 to represent District 30; he was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. When the second assault charge was filed in March 2010, he faced calls for his resignation from political opponents as well as from members of his own party, including Gov. John Hoeven.

Hoeven asked for Weiler’s resignation in late March after the second arrest. Hoeven could not to be reached; he was catching a flight back from Washington D.C., where he was attending campaign fundraisers.

“I don’t think it’ll change his opinion about Dave stepping down, but I didn’t get a chance to explain the situation to him,” said Hoeven spokesman Don Canton, explaining that bad reception cut their conversastion short.

Adam Jones, executive director for the state Republican Party, said the party continues to wish the best for the Weiler family, the same message it has stressed since the first charge was filed.

“Dave hasn’t resigned. We know there are efforts, but we’re not here to speculate on things to come. But as of now, Dave represents District 30,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem, also from District 30, said his earlier comments that it might be best for Weiler to resign were in reference to the wellbeing of the Weiler family. He said Weiler should still consider resigning if it would mean less stress on Nicole or their children.

“These family things are touchy on both sides of the issue,” Stenehjem said. “Love and hate can be pretty close. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between the two.”

The Democratic Party stands firm in the belief that Weiler should be recalled if he does not resign, but Chairman Mark Schneider said that effort should continue to come from District 30 residents.

Schneider said either way, Republicans never did enough after Weiler’s first conviction.

Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, did not return a message left at his residence. The Tribune tried calling him five times.

Local folk singer Kris Kitko and others have launched a recall petition against the District 30 representative.

Kitko, a resident of District 30, said the second incident brought to her attention that Weiler had been convicted of domestic violence once before and was still serving in the Legislature. She said the dismissal of the more recent charge has no bearing on her decision to proceed to the recall effort.

Kitko said she has more than half of the 1,902 signatures she needs for the recall to head to the ballot. The signatures must be turned in by Aug. 4  for the recall to be part of the November general election.

Kitko said she is aiming to have all the signatures turned in by that date but that she does have a year to turn them in.

David Weiler has repeatedly refused to resign and never wavered in proclamations of his innocence.

“I don’t know that I’ll ever feel vindicated,” he said on Wednesday. “It’s been a horrible experience. But as I said all along, the facts will come out, and they are starting to come out.”

(Reach reporter Jenny Michael at 250-8225 or

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(31) Comments

  1. citizenconcerned
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    citizenconcerned - July 17, 2010 7:31 am
    30 some comments, but yet some how not listed under most commented stories... but a story with 14 comments about the hail storm, that does not really affect anybody in Bismarck is listed as number one..... I wonder why? this story is about a representative that was elected to office. It should stay headline news, not be covered up.
  2. KarenV
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    KarenV - July 16, 2010 10:12 am
    Geoff says, "Kris Kitko: I can't wait until you come a knocking on my door with that petition."

    Geoff -- If Kris Kitko does go knocking on your door, she will be joined by a group of strong, peaceful women and men, who are not intimidated by threats, either veiled or expressed.

    I am one of those who stand for nonviolence. I am shocked and saddened by the amount of threatening speech directed at Kris Kitko -- and the rest of us -- for having the courage to speak out against violence in our community. I have not forgotten, nor will I forget, that my representative was found guilty for assaulting his wife in March of 2009. My only regret is that I did not organize a recall campaign a year ago.
  3. citizenconcerned
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    citizenconcerned - July 16, 2010 8:06 am
    Kenny, I do know the story, My Uncle is/was friends with both of them. Neighbors down the street to be exact. You can hear him yell at her from half a block away on a regular basis. How do you explain the years of abuse prior to this "SECOND" offense? So the guy watched his kids a couple times while Nicole got to go out with some friends. Big deal, Its called being a parent. Ask her how many times she was left alone while he was out drinking and Golfing. The guy is a total Tool. Like I said earlier, She is no angel either but She didn't inflict injuries upon herself. That is funny stuff. They had a rocky marriage from day one. As long as she agreed with EVERYTHING that he said all was well. He needs to be recalled. He has no credibility in the legislature anymore anyway. Nobody cares what he says/does. He is the laughing stock of town. And he deserves every bit of it. Its called Karma. I for one would love to Slap him around a bit and teach him a lesson about being humiliated. Funny how a story with this many comments is completely gone from the site.
  4. karenr
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    karenr - July 15, 2010 11:03 pm
    Many seem to have forgotten that Weiler plead guilty in April 2009 for assaulting his wife. Why would anyone want someone like that to represent them in the Legislature (or in a real estate deal)? I appreciate the efforts of Kris Kitko and others in publicizing the fact that an elected official has assaulted his wife and I appreciate the recall effort.
  5. kennyj
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    kennyj - July 15, 2010 3:51 pm
    citizenconcerned: you to will one day be judged. so you think you know what happened? well you don't know anything about anything. the bruises at the time of daves arrest were inflicted by nicole herself. while the alleged incident was taking place nicole was in a bar, dave was at home with his children. simple put the charges were dropped because SHE LIED! now try to wrap your pea brain around that. simple put the charges were dropped because SHE LIED! now that sounds like a fit parent?
  6. citizenconcerned
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    citizenconcerned - July 15, 2010 2:19 pm

    I do think he would want this buried. Why would he want it to be front page news.. Its on KFYR every 5 minutes and I am sorry . Everybody knows why she recanted. Everybody knows that he is a wife beater. I would have to guess that he wishes that nothing would have been printed at all because it brought it all back. Just because the headline says that they are moving to dismiss it doesn't mean that he is thrilled to have everybody talking about it again. If this would have been his first offense he would have pleaded guilty to it so that it went away faster. Oh yeah he did do that once. I bet he is having a great day. Nobody pointing and talking about him at all. Most everybody I know that knows either one of them knows he is guilty of abuse. If not that particular night then 100s of nights previously. For every reported incident there are 50 non-reported ones. And I wonder why. the poor woman has been drug thru hell. Just like the woman in NW Bismarck the other night that was sexually abused. If you read the comments on the story it sounded like people were blaming her for being assaulted because she forgot to lock her door.
  7. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
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    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - July 15, 2010 1:31 pm
    Oh citizenconcerned, that's rich. You think Dave would want this buried? He's want it on the front page (aside from his kids of course). Apparently someone else wants it buried.
  8. citizenconcerned
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    citizenconcerned - July 15, 2010 12:43 pm
    He should have been recalled after the first conviction. The reason the story is already 3rd page news is because Dave has prob manipulated somebody at the tribune as well.. he seems to be sort of good at that. If playing golf and hanging out at the Bistro were a career Weiler would be extremely successful. I wonder if making his then girlfriend get those breast implants has come back to haunt him at all. I think he got a bit jealous after she started attracting so much attention from other men. Other "real" men. I know that the state can be a bit aggressive when it comes to domestic violence and there are many innocent men out there that have been accused wrongly. But in this case I think it is just. Usually even if the wife doesnt want to press charges the state will still pursue it. I sat on a jury many years ago where the woman didn't want to press charges and actually testified on her husbands behalf.. State still go the conviction. But now they are just willing to walk away from this one.. Was there not bruising on her at the time of the arrest?
  9. Geoff
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    Geoff - July 15, 2010 11:42 am
    Kris Kitko said: "The recall will continue. One conviction for assault is still one too many--for anyone, especially a lawmaker. That's the point and it always has been. "

    Kris Kitko: I can't wait until you come a knocking on my door with that petition.

  10. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
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    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - July 15, 2010 11:16 am
    Interesting how burried this story is here. The arrest, comments, editorial, letters to the editor...they were all put on the front online page, and the articles on the front page of the paper. At least the Forum put it front and center. It is news.
  11. citizenconcerned
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    citizenconcerned - July 15, 2010 10:15 am
    wgwgwg Well put... He will stand at the pearly gates some day and he will be judged.
  12. Cindyloo
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    Cindyloo - July 15, 2010 9:18 am
    If she is admitting she lied, she should be prosecuted. If the roles were reversed and he admitted he lied, he'd be prosecuted. Why is it women can do it and get away with it? The 'poor me, I'm a woman' card gets played way too much.
  13. wgwgwg
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    wgwgwg - July 15, 2010 9:10 am
    Sadly, there are kids involved in another troubled marriage. Did he hit her or not, is she just recanting to end it, etc.? No one except Rep. and Mrs. Weiler will ever really know exactly what happened in this instance.

    If Kris Kitko comes to my house with her recall petition she will have the door closed in her face. If Rep. Weiler runs again (which I doubt) I'll do my civic duty and not vote for him. That will be my "recall".
  14. gotchagal
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    gotchagal - July 15, 2010 8:59 am
    Sounds like the typical domestic violence cycle...
  15. jitter
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    jitter - July 15, 2010 8:17 am
    Erickson would have been better off saying the new statements and evidence suggest his guilt cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt rather than that he is innocent. Also, what does it matter that the Tribune tried calling Rep Carlson five times? Five times, presumably in one day, without a return call is very nearly harassment.
  16. citizenconcerned
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    citizenconcerned - July 15, 2010 7:56 am
    She recanted to end the whole thing. Many women do this for the sake of the children. The Guy has been both verbally and physically abusive since before they were even married. She is no angel either but all in all a nice woman and a good mother. He on the other hand is a typical politician, (power trippin ego hound) The children are the one that have payed the price for his behavior and they are better off without him in the house. He has a horrible temper and flies off the handle at the drop of a hat. For the kids sake I am glad it is over and I applaud Nicole for biting the bullet and ending the whole thing the only way she knew how. Self sacrifice and letting him off the hook. He will never get re-elected or sell a house in this town again. I hear that Wall mart is hiring Dave. I wish her and the children the best of luck.
  17. Occam
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    Occam - July 15, 2010 1:01 am
    I for one don't seem to recall Dave ever stating his perfection of defending such a notion. He tossed his wife to the ground after coming to believe his worst suspicions were true about her behavior. He plead guilty and probably should have resigned his position, but neither of them would have benefits if he did so, and their children would have suffered as his real estate income tanked. They were trying to work it out, but he believed the behavior was continuing. Those of you who crucified him on the second charge should be ashamed of yourselves. There will be no justice for this man. His primary career is finished. His children have been scarred for life by the behavior of both of their parents, and a woman used a system that was intended to be there as a protection against dangerous assaillants, out of panicked effort to retain material possessions. She should be fired from the governor's office for creating this fiasco and detracting from the ability for her coworkers to work. And Kitco and company should be sued for slandering his reputation. Mam, for you to claim your position was always that he should resign is a lie and everybody knows it. You popped up to fight your cause and seek 15 seconds of fame after the second offense. Condemning the governor, and Al Carlson along the way, you turned it into a partisan matter. You will not get the necessary petitions for a recall. Go away and save your money, because if Dave is half the aggressor you all claim him to be, and has all these special friends who can move mountains for him, he will find a way to have you prosecuted to the full extent of the law. As for the mother of his children, he needs her around so he can go play golf and sulk and mope about being a victim right? I have seen him several times throughout this period and sulking and moping he was not. Passionate about taking care of his kids and worried they were being neglected in favor of participating in all types of illicit behavior he was!

  18. ConcernedPerson
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    ConcernedPerson - July 14, 2010 9:47 pm
    Dave Weiler being classy... HA!

    The fact of the matter is that Dave Weiler commited the crime in the first place, and there was PROOF, and he received a lesser punishment than he deserved, simply because he is in the legislature. For some reason, Dave thinks that just because he knows the right people that he is better than everyone else and doesn't have to abide by the law. The only reason he didn't press any charges against Nicole is because this is his only possible scapegoat to gain his precious reputation back. Dave Weiler has always been an arrogant, self-centered excuse of a politician who deserves to be locked up.

    The ones that I truely feel sorry for are the children. Even when they were still a "happy family", Nicole was always the parent that was active in the childrens' lives, and Dave did nothing but sit at the country club and pretend to be someone important. Whenever something didn't go his way, he sulked around like a big baby just waiting for someone to give him attention. He is nothing better than a child with a temper, and he doesn't deserve to be called "father". He always contrasted to his wife's cheerful, fun-loving attitude towards their children. No matter what happens with this situation, I hope the children end up with Nicole because she is the only true adult in this situation that is fit to be a parent.
  19. Booker
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    Booker - July 14, 2010 9:32 pm
    Kitko's and Nodland's next song:

    "You can ruin a person's life once, but not a second time".

    I'm sure it will be on line shortly...
  20. kennyj
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    kennyj - July 14, 2010 7:36 pm
    REALLY... ms kitko have you not done enough, you sure seem to be sinning a different TUNE now. all i want to hear from you is I AM SORRY AND I WAS WRONG! but that will never happen as you are to full of hate and anger. the damage is done and you played your part. for once like mr. weiler show some class if you have any.
  21. Richard Saunders
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    Richard Saunders - July 14, 2010 7:06 pm
    And do not forget EC that this system also had Dave Weiler “guilty until proven innocent” (and always will be guilty as proven here by a few). Additionally, while Weiler’s life has been shattered his wife and her boss Governor John Hoeven both get a free pass from their lies and uninformed judgments against Weiler. All Dave Weiler got was to be handcuffed, thrown in jail, arraigned in a jumpsuit in front of tons of media, falsely trashed by that nut job Kitko, and horridly lied and falsely surmised about by that amoral muckraker Chad Nodland. (I am sure Nodland (Chet) and his paper-thin skin will whine for this post to be deleted so get it while it is hot. While the Chetster can falsely dish it out, he sure can not take the truth.)

    So where does Dave Weiler go to get his name restored? Sadly, nowhere. Where do the Weiler’s children go to get their “honest” mommy and innocent daddy back? Again, sadly, nowhere. Gotta love this system of ours.

    While Dave Weiler will not file charges against his wife, it is more than clear that crimes have been committed and this should not stop the prosecutors from taking the case on themselves. What more do they need, an engraved invitation? The only thing I can see stopping the prosecution from taking up the case is that there is actual proof of a crime here and they only like to charge crimes where they can make up the facts.
  22. Kris Kitko
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    Kris Kitko - July 14, 2010 6:51 pm
    The recall will continue. One conviction for assault is still one too many--for anyone, especially a lawmaker. That's the point and it always has been.
  23. kennyj
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    kennyj - July 14, 2010 6:40 pm
    After everything David has had to endure in recent months. He should stand up for himself, prosecute Nicole, let HER be slandered by the media. He needs to start to rebuild his life and reputation. He paid for his one mistake now she is making him PAY for hers. What kind of mother puts her children through this??? David, the best thing you could do for your children is to let them no just what kind of a mother they really have and that their father did not do this. Stand up for yourself, your reputation, your children. Nicole should be prosecuted for what she did,and she needs help for what she is.

  24. Economic Conservative
    Report Abuse
    Economic Conservative - July 14, 2010 6:35 pm
    Let's see if I got this right. She recanted and admitted she lied. She filed a false report with the Bismarck PD, thousands of tax payer dollars have been spent investigating this false report and now she is walking away scot free? Something stinks here and it is now involving a states attorney letting this woman walk away with no consequences? God I love the corruption in the good old boys network of North Dakota!
  25. NDINS
    Report Abuse
    NDINS - July 14, 2010 6:01 pm
    Nobody will know what happened for sure. From the out side looking in it would appear they had a troubled marriage. Some do. But thanks to Kris Kitko Dave's kids probably had to deal with a whole lot more than they should have. Shame on her .
  26. delbertmoore
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    delbertmoore - July 14, 2010 5:50 pm
    In addition to the recant the story mentions "additional circumstantial evidence not available when the charges were filed." People do often recant for various reasons other than lack of truth in the original statement. In domestic dispute cases people often lie about abuse either out of anger or revenge for some other perceived wrong. However the presumption of innocence is a ruling factor here both in court and in individual opinion. Delbert Moore
  27. BeachBoy
    Report Abuse
    BeachBoy - July 14, 2010 5:27 pm
    I'm with Imalive: This story stinks to high heaven. There is obviously some back room dealing concerning money/divorce/settlements, etc. Sick, sick, sick.
  28. Imalive
    Report Abuse
    Imalive - July 14, 2010 4:32 pm
    Bull$#@!! Just because she recanted doesn't mean it didn't happen! Maybe she was bribed, manipulated, or felt like it wasn't worth going through court. I wouldn't be so quick to assume she lied.
  29. six mile creek
    Report Abuse
    six mile creek - July 14, 2010 4:29 pm
    So since he only beat her once, that makes it ok?
  30. Report Abuse
    - July 14, 2010 4:08 pm
    So now the truth comes out - after Mr. Weiler's reputation has been trashed. Way to go Nicole. It looks like you succeeded in getting back at your soon to be ex. I do think there should be some kind of punishment for Nicole in this instance - slander, perhaps? He abused you once, and, rightly, paid the price to his reputation, etc. But for you to lie and accuse him of a 2nd abuse - shame on you. I hope all those that rushed to his damnation can now realize that he made one horrible mistake, but didn't make the same mistake twice, even though he was accused of it. There is a lesson here - be honest with your accusations.
  31. Richard Saunders
    Report Abuse
    Richard Saunders - July 14, 2010 4:01 pm
    Looks like Chad Nodland and Kris Kitko have A LOT of crow to eat and maybe some legal trouble in the future ...
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