First degree murder suspect George Pittman Jr. of Storm Lake has requested to be transferred to a different jail facility, according to court papers, because of alleged mistreatment by staff in the Buena Vista County Jail where Pittman is being held in administrative segregation.
Third Judicial Court Judge Patrick Carr said it is out of the court's jurisdiction to move Pittman, adding the decision is up to the Iowa Department of Corrections.
Pittman, 33, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Keo Gail Pittman, after she was found dead in their Storm Lake home in September.
The attorneys who successfully defended Jesse Wendelsdorf of Spirit Lake against charges of murder and sexual assault will now represent George Pittman, Jr., of Storm Lake against first-degree murder charges.
Pittman has been represented by Wally Miller, Jr. of Cherokee. However, Miller requested to be removed from the case, citing concerns he cannot properly represent Pittman because of his already heavy caseload over the next six months.
Attorneys Thomas Magee of Emmetsburg and Paul Miller of Iowa City indicated their interest in representing Pittman. Magee and Miller were also the attorneys for Jesse Wendelsdorf, whose trial was held in Storm Lake last year for charges that he murdered and sexually assaulted two-year-old Shelby Duis of Spirit Lake. Wendelsdorf was found not guilty by a BV County jury.
The state is being represented by Buena Vista County Attorney Phil Havens and Assistant Attorney General Charles Thoman. Pittman has pled not guilty. A request for a reduced bail or to be released on his own recognizance was denied.