The attorney for a Bettendorf couple accused of financially exploiting an elderly family member said Wednesday he has filed for an appellate court review of a ruling that the case can be heard in Rock Island County
Dennis Stoffel, 57, and Laura Stoffel, 58, are accused of breaking an agreement with Mrs. Stoffel's then 81-year-old stepmother, by using money she gave them to purchase a Bettendorf home, but then not allowing her to move in.
Rock Island County Circuit Court Judge F. Michael Meersman on Monday had rejected attorney Jack. A. Schwartz's contention that the the case could not be tried in Rock Island County since conversations and banking transactions between the Stoffels concerning the house purchase took place both in Illinois and across the river in Scott County.
The motion further contended the case was not a criminal one, but rather a breach of contract issue for civil court.
Judge Meersman denied both motions, ruling there was enough probable cause to constitute criminal charges and that Rock Island County was the proper venue for the case since, among other things, the victim lived there.
Assistant State's Attorney Jim Wozniak, who objected to the delay, said the matter is "in the hands of the third appellate district, and we'll see what happens."
Today is Friday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2013. There are 18 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Merry sleigh bells jingle in our streets in the wake of a driving northwest storm of snow and rain. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Thomas Campbell was elected commander of John Buford Post 243, Grand Army of the Republic. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Thomas B. Reidy was named consul of C.W. Hawes Camp No. 1550, and L.H. Eihl was named consul of Camp 29, Modern Woodmen of America. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island aldermen last night upheld the view of a petition signed by 150 businessmen that the city should not install parking meters. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Total volume during the Christmas mailing season may reach 12 million pieces in Rock Island, according to Rock Island Postmaster Carl J.L. Wessel. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The aromas filling the air at the Rock Island Lines depot in Rock Island soon will be prime rib and roast duck rather than sawdust and plaster. A tourist train will be offering dinner excursions in mid-February or early March, according to Dan Carmody, executive director of the Development Association of Rock Island.