The battery case against local attorney Stephen Stubbs was dismissed Oct. 1 after Stubbs and Boulder City resolved his appeal before going to U.S. District Court.
Stubbs was found guilty of battery in Boulder City Municipal Court May 1 by Judge Margaret Whittaker. The verdict stemmed from a Feb. 20 incident during which Stubbs claimed he was hit by a truck driven by Steven Wilson, the estranged spouse of his client, Jean Wilson. According to Stubbs, Steven Wilson physically assaulted him, after which Stubbs instinctively “punched him in the eye.”
Stubbs also claimed that according to Whittaker, the main reason she found him guilty was because he was an attorney, and that he should not have put himself in that situation.
“I didn’t think that was right,” Stubbs said. “If I knew she was even thinking remotely about that, I would’ve introduced more information showing that he (Steve Wilson) couldn’t be on the premises.”
Whittaker assessed Stubbs a $500 fine, but since Boulder City Municipal Court is not a court of record, Stubbs appealed to the District Court for a new trial.
During the initial trial, Stubbs accused the Boulder City Police Department and City Attorney Dave Olsen of malfeasance, and asked Whittaker to dismiss the case because of it. His request was denied.
Stubbs said he also requested a motion to dismiss the case at the District Court level because of the same malfeasance, but Judge Rob Bare did not grant the motion.
Stubbs claimed that Bare hinted there would be an evidentiary hearing to have Dave Olsen removed from the case but Olsen, who removed himself from the case, said he did so because Stubbs held a grudge against him.
“He had some sort of hangup with me,” Olsen said. “So I said, ‘OK, I’ll step out of the way and you can go to trial with (Deputy City Attorney) Gary Booker.’ Funny thing is, he didn’t want to go to trial with Gary Booker. He made basically the same deal we offered him the first time.”
Olsen said he also offered Stubbs a deal before the original trial began, but Stubbs declined.
“He could’ve avoided going to court with me on the first go-around,” Olsen said.
In a complaint filed to District Court on June 18, Stubbs accused Olsen of prosecutorial misconduct, and said Olsen targeted him as retribution for his filing previous lawsuits against the Boulder City Police Department.
Olsen dismissed those claims.
“I didn’t treat his case any differently than I’ve treated any other case,” he said.
After the appeal was resolved, Stubbs took to Facebook where he said he won the appeal in his Boulder City criminal case. But Olsen sharply disagreed with Stubbs’ claim that he won the appeal.
“He didn’t win the appeal, the appeal was resolved,” Olsen said. “He made it seem like he had some big victory. It’s a hollow victory if anything.”
Olsen said a reason for the dismissal resulted from Stubbs demonstrating good behavior from the time the original verdict was read in May until the appeal was resolved five months later. A key component of that was Stubbs not having any contact with Steven Wilson.
According to court records, Stubbs has four open cases against him, including three that were filed after his guilty verdict. But according to Olsen, most judges try not to let outside cases influence their current decisions.
“Normally these judges will say, ‘I’m not interested in open cases, I’m interested in convictions,’” Olsen said. “If he had six convictions, that definitely would come into play.”
Now that the case is resolved, Stubbs does not have to pay the $500 fine Whittaker assessed him. But Olsen said Stubbs will just have to pay more attorney fees, and he could have avoided it all if he had taken the deal in the first place.
Stubbs’ attorney, Damian Sheets, did not return calls for comment.
“I’m not going to try to blame somebody else or say that somebody else should’ve done something. I’m not going to do that,” Olsen said of Stubbs. “And I’d wish he’d do the same thing. Admit he was wrong. He shouldn’t have punched that guy in the eye. If he wouldn’t have punched the guy in the eye, it might’ve been a whole different story.”