Testimony from alleged kidnapping & torture victim will be allowed at trial

GAVELThe testimony of a deceased woman that a pair of Ishpeming men are accused of kidnapping and torturing last year can be admitted at their trial. Jason Sadowski, 43, and Charles Cope, 65, were in Marquette County Circuit Court today for a pretrial motions hearing.

Sadowski’s attorney, Timothy Quinnell, asked Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi to exclude testimony that one of the two alleged victims gave during the preliminary exam in the case. Because the woman has since died, Quinnell argued that Sadowski would not have the legal right to confront one of his accusers.

Quinnell also claimed that there was inadequate opportunity for cross–examination at the prelim. Cope’s attorney, Karl Numinen, disagreed, saying there were no limits imposed on the scope of the prelim testimony.

Judge Mazzuchi denied Quinnell’s motion, which allows the deceased woman’s testimony to be admitted.

Quinnell also filed a motion to exclude previous statements that Cope made to police. He said once again that Sadowski would be unable to confront an accuser if Cope chooses not to testify and the statements were allowed. Judge Mazzuchi ruled that if Cope doesn’t testify, his previous statements may be admissible against himself but would *not* be allowed against Sadowski.

Prosecutors filed a motion that Sadowski should be restrained during the trial. They claim Sadowski assaulted an inmate while in jail on a previous charge. Judge Mazzuchi granted that motion, ruling that Sadowski should be restrained with a belly chain that would not be visible to the jury. However, she also agreed to consider alternate forms of restraint.

Sadowski and Cope are both accused of two counts of torture and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. Sadowski is also charged with two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and one count each of solicitation of murder and first–degree criminal sexual conduct.

Both men have habitual offender, fourth offense status attached, and they could both face life in prison if convicted. Their trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on February 24th.

Sadowski and Cope are accused of holding two women hostage in the basement of The Martial Way in Ishpeming last July.