DARLINGTON —It took two hours and 20 minutes of deliberation for a jury to find David Heisz not guilty of attempted first-degree homicide and kidnapping. The jury did find Heisz guilty of false imprisonment, misdemeanor battery and first degree recklessly endangering safety. Those convictions carry a maximum of up to 19 years in prison and $45,000 in fines.
The two-day jury trial began with opening arguments. Lafayette County District Attorney Jenna Gill promised to show that Heisz had three fully loaded handguns and planned to kill Kami Adolf during a March 2, 2017 incident. Defense Attorney John Smerlinski of Smerlinski Law Office, S.C., Monona said he would show the inconsistencies in the prosecutions’ case and present a different scenario of events that happened that night.
The victim, Kami Adolf, was first to take the stand and laid out the state’s case on how events unfolded.
Adolf testified that on Feb. 28, 2017, she cleaned a house in Casseville and after went to Heisz’s house to do her taxes on his computer. Heisz was home at the time. She said she had known Heisz for about ten years and that he was a friend of the family.
The next time Adolf had contact from Heisz, was a phone call she received from him March 2, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. She said he accused her of stealing money from him and she never heard him so upset. She told him she didn’t take his money. She invited him to her home to sort this out.
Later that day, she saw Heisz was in her driveway/lot at her residence above Turpin’s Grocery Store in Shullsburg in a silver Cadillac parked in her driveway/lot around 8:00 p.m. He did not get out of the car. Adolf and her boyfriend, Nicolas Roberts, stood on the porch overlooking the driveway/lot and argued about what to do. Eventually Adolf went down to the Cadillac. Adolf said Heisz told her to get in the car.
When asked why did you get in the car with him Adolf responded, “I didn’t take the money and I trusted him.” Heisz drove away and began accusing her of stealing the money. Adolf noticed a handgun in the pocket of his jacket and got scared. She opened the car door and tried to get out of the car at the stop sign located at Centenary Methodist Church. Adolf said he grabbed her arm and said, “you aren’t going nowhere.” He then drove away with the car door open. Pictures were produced showing bruising on her bicep.
They then proceeded to Co. W and went north on Co. I and then turned east on Penny Benton Rd. and pulled into a field and turned the lights off. Adolf let Heisz search her purse and coat pockets. Adolf said he asked, “What are we going to do about this?” Adolf answered, “Please don’t kill me.” At this point Adolf said she tried to get out of the car, when Heisz punched her head and ear and then forced her head down to the center console.
Adolf said he grabbed her by the hair. She said at that point she fought back by grabbing his beard and kicking him. She said Heisz yelled let go of my beard and she yelled let go of my hair. Adolf said she was able to kick her way free and got out of the car. A clump of hair that was later found on Heisz’s person, was entered into evidence.
After she got out of the car, Adolf said she took off running and after she got 20 to 25 feet away she heard a gun shot. She called 911 and continued running through a dense forest in pitch black conditions until she found the road.
In cross examination, the defense established that Adolf had borrowed $200 from Heisz in the past; voluntarily got into the car; awkward silence until they parked in the field; never saw the direction Heisz pointed the gun; Heisz never said I’m going to shoot you; Adolf knew Heisz had a concealed-carry permit.
The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Deputies Steven Messner, Mitchell Long and David Mullen testified. Messner was first on the scene and found a female running in a field on Co. I. Messner said, “She was panicking and crying.” Messner called dispatch to report the incident and requested first responders and then notified Lafayette Detective Sergeant Jerrett Cook. Long was on a traffic stop on Co. W and heard a single gunshot. All three deputies found and confirmed a .45 shell casing in a field driveway area on Penny Benton Rd. undisturbed.
Grant County Deputies took David Heisz into custody on Pine Lane in Bagley. Heisz did not resist and it was noted he had abrasions on his face. The deputies found on his person a .380 handgun in his bib pocket and a clump of hair, believed to be from Adolf, a boot knife with a 6 inch blade and a fully charged stun gun. After the Cadillac was transported back to Lafayette County, Detective Cook found a .45 caliber Regent 1911 semi-auto handgun with a live round in the chamber and an extended magazine. Also, a .45 caliber Para 1911 semi-auto handgun fully loaded - minus one round, zip ties that could be fashioned into handcuffs, a cloth bag filled with ammunition and magazines. Also found was a bracelet, purse and coat, believed to belong to Adolf. Detective Cook also took statements from Adolf and later Heisz.
Heisz took the stand and gave his account of events that happened during this incident.
On Feb. 28, 2017, Adolf came to his house, after cleaning a house in the area, to do her taxes on his computer. Heisz stated he had a magnetic safe box under the desk where she was working.
On March 2, 2017, he noticed the money was missing from the safe box. Heisz said, “I was upset because she (Adolf) was the only one that could have taken it.” He then called Adolf and accused her of taking the money. She denied that she took the money and told Heisz if you don’t believe me then come on down. When Heisz was getting ready to leave, he said that he didn’t know what he was going to run into and she was known to carry weapons. So I took an extra gun.
For clarification according Heisz he always carried the .380 handgun and there was always a .45 caliber Para handgun in the car, so he only took one extra gun – the .45 caliber Regent handgun.
He found out where she lived by making a phone call to a friend and then drove to Shullsburg. When he got there, Adolf and her boyfriend were on the balcony arguing. A half hour later, Adolf came walking down the stairs and when she approached the car she said, “I didn’t take your money.” Heisz said, “Let’s go for a ride.” She got in the car and buckled her seat belt. They then drove three quarters of a block, she opens the door and wants to go back and argue with her boyfriend some more. When she opened the door, I grabbed her coat and asked her where are you going? She got back into the car then I drove three or four miles and parked in a field and shut the lights off. It was around 8:00 p.m. and pitch black.
After we parked in the field I started asking her about the money. She said she didn’t take it. I said you’re the only one that could’ve taken it. She handed me her purse and I found $40 in there. Then she handed me her coat, I searched the coat and found nothing. She said you want to pat me down too? I said yea. Before I reached for her she grabbed my beard. She had a good handful. She started hitting and scratching me with her other hand so I grabbed her hair. She said let go of my hair and I said let go of my beard. She then got her feet around and kicked me about ten times with steele toed boots. She kicked my gun in my jacket pocket. So I thought she was going for my gun. So I pushed her away so she couldn’t get my gun. She opened the passenger door, and fell on the ground, she then got up and started running.
When asked who hit who first, Heisz stated that when Adolf grabbed my beard and started scratching and hitting me which was the first physical contact.
After she took off, I opened the door to look for my glasses and found them. I checked my .45 Para and the hammer was cocked, ready to fire. I wanted to put the hammer back down so it wouldn’t fire. When I did that, I held it up in the air and that’s when it went off. I threw it in the back seat, got back in the car and then drove off.
When asked if he made any effort to see which way she ran, Heisz answered, “No, I didn’t chase her with the car, I didn’t fire twice. I didn’t care which direction she went.”
Heisz continued, “I then drove home. I had her coat and purse so I thought I could get a couple of bucks for them. I didn’t think I did anything wrong. That’s why I didn’t get rid of her stuff or my guns.”
Heisz had injuries on his face and chest. He didn’t intend to harm Adolf. He offered her $200 to give the $1,000 back.
In cross examination Gill asked, “Adolf asked you to come to her house. Why didn’t you get the address from her?” I didn’t ask for it and she didn’t give it to me. I got it from a friend.
Other items established: zip ties could be fashioned into handcuffs; drove away from the stop sign with the door open; maybe punched her in the head when she was going for his gun; put gun into his pocket at gas station; didn’t offer Adolf $2,000 to give the money back; didn’t usually have the Para cocked.
Sentencing will take place Dec. 20, 2017.
It was reported in other sources that there would certainly be an appeal.