One voting machine tampering cases moves to trial, two others await consideration ⋆

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jeffery S. Matis has set a new trial date for attorney Stefanie Lambert Junttila as part of a case alleging tampering with voting tabulators following the 2020 election. 

Lambert Junttila, former state Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) and former Republican attorney general nominee Matt DePerno are each facing criminal charges as the result of an investigation into potential tampering with election equipment. 

Stefanie Lambert Junttila | LinkedIn

Court documents filed by Special Prosecutor D.J. Hilson allege that Lambert Junttila and DePerno were “frequently” present in Oakland County hotel rooms and residences where individuals performed “testing” and/or experiments on voting machines, following the 2020 election in which President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump. 

While all three cases were scheduled for trial on March 4, Hilson had filed a motion to remand each case to a district court for preliminary examination. While two of the three attorneys concurred with Hilson’s motion to remand their cases, Lambert Junttila’s attorney, Michael J. Smith, said his client would prefer to move straight to trial.

Hilson said he initially planned to ask the court to pull the motion to remand Lambert Junttila’s case, but that it had been rendered moot. He asked the court to pull another motion he filed asking to adjourn her case and said his office will be prepared to proceed to trial.

In turn, Smith asked for an adjournment from the initial date of March 4,  having recently received “exculpatory” police reports that he wished to investigate. 

Lambert Junttila’s new trial date is scheduled for Monday, April 1.

With DePerno’s attorney, Michael Cronkright, filing motions to quash the indictment and Rendon’s attorney, Camilla Barkovic, filing a motion to dismiss the first count of the indictment, the parties agreed to handle those matters in court before determining whether it was appropriate to move forward with the remand.

“Essentially, what we have is we have on the Rendon case and the DePerno case, that the attorneys in both of those cases have apparently either filed or are filing motions that they believe this court should hear before remand. Both defense counsel agree with the remand after the court hears the motions, obviously assuming the court doesn’t rule on the motions in a way that the case doesn’t continue,” Matis said.

“The people agree with that. … I agree, as well,” Matis said.

Michael J. Smith, counsel for Stefanie Lambert Junttila, appears in court via Zoom on Feb. 22, 2024 | Screenshot

Matis also adjourned the March 4 trial date for DePerno’s and Rendon’s cases.

“It seems appropriate since you’ve agreed on the remand, that this Court will rule on these motions. And at that point, assuming the case is still pending, pending whatever the motion is, whatever the ruling is, then there’ll be a timely remand of those two cases to the District Court,” Matis said. 

Smith also sought to subpoena Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who are both Democrats, to appear and testify at Lambert Junttila’s trial, with legal counsel for both officials filing a motion to quash the subpoena. 

Matis denied the motion to quash the subpoena without prejudice, as the subpoena was requested for a trial date that has been adjourned. Smith said he plans to file another subpoena for the new trial date in the coming days, with Nessel’s and Benson’s counsel, Mark Donelly, saying he would refile a motion to toss the subpoena.

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authored by Kyle Davidson
First published at https%3A%2F%2Fmichiganadvance.com%2F2024%2F02%2F23%2Fone-voting-machine-tampering-cases-moves-to-trial-two-others-await-consideration%2F

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