Amy Hossner 1983

WAS JUSTICE SERVED IN THE AMY HOSSNER MURDER, OR NOT?

June 4, 1983 – Amy Elizabeth Hossner, 15, was shot to death in her Ashton, Idaho home through the basement bedroom window.  For the next 30+ years, her case continues to raise questions about Rauland Grube’s role, if any, in her death.

Did police/prosecutors have the right man when Rauland Grube was tried and convicted, yet later released on amended charges and acceptance of an Alford plea? Many say Grube was mentally challenged and set up to take the blame for Hossner’s murder. There was evidence of altered police logs and disputes of which officer was on patrol that night, either Ashton Police Chief Ed Sebek or Patrol Officer Steve Brood. Chief Sebek eventually served time in prison for unrelated crimes, including kidnapping and lewd conduct. See the Idaho Court Repository for further information.

Numerous court and press documents are attached below. The Amy Hossner case has been included in this website since there is always a chance new information can come forward in a case which remains largely unresolved in the public’s eye for several decades.

Grube died in 2009 before he could be retried.

Officer Steve Brood was able to continue his career in law enforcement after being fired from Ashton Police Department.

Chief Edward Sebek is currently a registered sex offender in the State of Idaho for lewd conduct charges stemming from Fremont County in 1999. Prison time was served in his case.

Contact the Ashton Police Department if you have any new information about the murder of Amy Hossner.

 

FURTHER READING

Suspect in slaying says he was with family – 1991

State of Idaho v. Grube – 1994

Idaho Supreme Court review of Grube case – 2000

Grube v. Blades and the AG of Idaho, Alan Lance – Filed Feb. 2006

Grube v. Blades – April 2007 – Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (enter 06-35132 in the upper corner search area)

E. Idaho county considers selling land to fund retrial – 2007

Rauland Grube Pleads Guilty in Case Arising out of Amy Hossner’s 1983 Death (amended charges) – 2007

Grube retrial set for October –  2007

Grube saga at an end – 2007

Stroke takes Grube 3 years after prison release

Rauland Grube obituary – 2009

Source: Standard Journal News, 2007

“Grube’s first-degree murder conviction in 1992 was overturned last year when U.S. District Court Lynn Winmill ruled Grube’s rights to a fair trial had been violated.

The state appealed that decision, but after being rebuked by a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge, the state withdrew its appeal. In early July, a retrial date was set for late October.

But in late July, Grube and the state made a deal. Grube entered an Alford plea of guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault in the murder case.

An Alford plea means the defendant, while maintaining his innocence, acknowledges there is enough evidence that a jury may have convicted him of the charge, in this case of aggravated assault.

The judge sentenced him to serve 14 years and 10 months on the charge, with credit for time he has served in prison and in the county jail, which totals nearly 15 years.”

 

Source: Spokesman Review, June 20, 2007

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho – An eastern Idaho county may be forced to sell property to pay for the retrial of a man who served 15 years in prison for a murder but has been out on bond since last year after a federal judge ruled his civil rights were violated in the original case.

Fremont County officials say it could cost $200,000 to $300,000 to retry Rauland Grube, 43, who was convicted in 1991 of killing 15-year-old Amy Hossner in Ashton but released in 2006. Costs from a new trial would include two lawyers approved by 7th District Court Judge Darren Thompson, as well as a private investigator and experts in ballistics, tool-marking and handwriting who charge up to $100 an hour.

Fremont County commissioners are considering selling two parcels of land, one 40 acres, the other 29 acres, that could be used for farming, a gravel pit or residential development. The proceeds could cover about half the cost of a new trial and help avert a possible budget crunch that could force Fremont County to trim other services to residents, said Commissioner Paul Romrell.

“We’ll be paralyzed for several years” without extra revenue, Romrell told the Rexburg Standard-Journal.

Fremont County Prosecuting Attorney Karl Lewies didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Grube’s case illustrates the challenges small local governments can face when attempting to prosecute complicated criminal cases. The trial of Sarah Johnson, convicted in 2005 of killing her parents, cost Blaine County $1 million.

In June 1983, when Grube was 20, Hossner was found dead from a shotgun blast fired through the window of her basement bedroom in Ashton. Eight years later, Grube was convicted of first-degree murder in 7th District Court and sentenced to life in prison.

In 2006, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered that Grube be released or get a new trial after Winmill determined investigators had withheld a key witness at trial and that police logs had been tampered with.

Ballistics evidence was a key element in Grube’s original conviction, but it has since been disavowed by the FBI.

And former Police Chief Ed Sebek, who could testify about the log alterations, is now in prison on an unrelated crime.

The state attorney general’s office has insisted on retrying Grube, even though it was rebuked by another federal court judge earlier this year who said Grube would likely be acquitted if he were to be retried.

In January, Alex Kozinsky, who serves on a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle, said Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden should consider prosecuting those in the case who handed in tainted evidence “instead of holding onto a conviction that is incredibly thin on the facts and undermined by just unspeakable misconduct.”

The case must be retried by Nov. 26.

County officials hope to meet soon with prosecutors from Wasden’s office who will be handling the case to discuss the costs of the new trial and how to keep them from escalating.”