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Afton custody dispute case dismissed

• Prosecuting witnesses fail to appear; case dismissed for lack of evidence

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 10:13 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 10:15 a.m. CDT

The six people involved in a custody dispute last October outside Casey’s General Store in Afton have been cleared of all charges.

Charles Robb and Rosie Peterson of Arispe, Russell Peterson of Lorimor, Jennifer Steinbach of Northboro, Crystal Miller of Creston and Kathy Benedict of Afton were all charged with unlawful assembly in October.

According to court documents, the alleged dispute took place Oct. 11 in Casey’s parking lot in Afton whereby the group entered Casey’s and used their vehicle to block Robb’s ex-wife JoAnne Shannon, her husband Del Shannon and three minor children from leaving the gas lane.

The documents stated the group then got out of their vehicle and allegedly engaged in trying to break into JoAnne Shannon’s vehicle.

The court documents stated Robb yelled and screamed in an attempt to intimidate the Shannons, then attempted to fight with both of them over custody of the minor children in the car.

However, none of that evidence held up in court Wednesday afternoon as none of the prosecuting witnesses, with the exception of Afton Police Chief John Coulter, appeared for the trial. The case was dismissed by Judge Monty Franklin for lack of evidence with costs assessed to the state.

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