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Testimony begins in kidnapping, assault trial

By justine wettschreck Daily Globe WORTHINGTON -- Carol Shue broke down in tears as she spoke of her husband's girlfriend Tuesday during the first day of testimony in the State vs. Kenneth Shue Jr. jury trial in Nobles County District Court. Shue...

By justine wettschreck

Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Carol Shue broke down in tears as she spoke of her husband's girlfriend Tuesday during the first day of testimony in the State vs. Kenneth Shue Jr. jury trial in Nobles County District Court.

Shue was arrested in October 2004 after Nobles County deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call in Rushmore. At Shue's home, deputies found a woman who was bruised and injured, according to the criminal complaint.

Shue was charged with 13 felonies, including kidnapping, first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, second- and third-degree assault and false imprisonment.

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Carol Shue testified her husband had left for several days in October 2004, coming back with several people, one of whom was the victim.

"He told me (the victim) was his new girlfriend," Carol said tearfully. "I told him, 'I just don't understand.'"

In her testimony, Carol said she stayed for a few days after her husband came home with the victim, sleeping downstairs while the couple slept upstairs. She was awakened one evening when he threw the victim down on top of her, then pushed both women up against a wall.

"I thought he was going to kill me so he could have her," Carol said.

Carol left home that night and stayed with a relative, who eventually called the police after calling the Shue house and hearing someone yelling for help.

According to Nobles County Chief Deputy Chris Heinrichs, the house was in disarray when he arrived on the scene, responding to the complaint.

"Something had happened to cause these things to tip over and break," Heinrichs said.

During his testimony, Heinrichs said Shue told him he "didn't know what the big deal was ... it was just an argument that got out of hand."

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The victim, a 34-year-old woman from Jackson, testified she had met Kenneth Shue through another male friend, and that the three of them had spent several days together at her friend's home in Iowa before going to Shue's home.

After arriving in Rushmore, a group of people including the victim and Kenneth "partied" for a couple of days, and the victim testified she and Shue were using methamphetamine during that time.

During her testimony, the victim appeared calm and answered questions in a monotone fashion much of the time.

She said she and Shue had gotten along fine until everyone else left the home. Shortly afterward he pulled her upstairs by the hair, apologizing later. Eventually Shue began to hit her, and she said he refused to let her leave.

Nobles County Assistant Attorney John D. Gross showed the jury photos of the victim after she was taken to the hospital by law enforcement. The photos show a face with bruised and swollen eyes, forehead and chin, and a spot under her chin where the victim said Shue carved the initial "K" into her skin with a knife.

The victim spoke of beating with belts and a brush, of sexual abuse, and of being burned with lit cigarettes and being forced to have both lit and unlit cigarettes put inside her mouth.

Photos also showed a cut on her chest she said he did with a fillet knife, as well as bruised legs, back and buttocks, and cuts on her stomach and toe from broken glass from a lamp.

The victim said after getting the call from Carol Shue's relative, Shue pushed her into the shower to clean her up, using rubbing alcohol on her. Photos showed chunks of hair missing from her head that she said Shue cut off with a scissors after her matted hair got tangled in a hairbrush.

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As Gross asked the victim about assorted injuries, she frequently answered she that was unsure of how she had received individual bruises. She said she was in and out of consciousness for about a week after being taken to the hospital.

When Gross asked if she fought back during the beatings and sexual abuse, she said she tried to resist at first, but was too dehydrated and sore in the later days.

"He liked me screaming," she said bluntly. "He kept telling me to do it more."

During cross-examination by defense attorney Christine Wietzema, the victim said her relationship with Shue was fine for several days, but turned around the day Carol left the house for good.

"Isn't it true you told Deputy (Duane) Rogers you didn't know where the marks on your chin came from?" Wietzema asked.

"I don't remember half of the stuff I said," the victim answered, reiterating she had been "out of it" for the week after she was brought out of the Shue home.

When asked why she hadn't left, the victim said Shue was always there and had told her if she tried to leave, he would hurt or kill her.

She said she didn't use any meth after the abuse started and that she remembers talking to law enforcement in the first days after being brought to the hospital, but doesn't remember what was said.

"Isn't it true that you refused to speak to anyone from my office without a lawyer present?" Wietzema asked.

"Yep," the victim replied.

Shue has a previous conviction of a felony sexual charge in Iowa from 1996, and was sentenced to 15 months incarceration in March for a terroristic threat incident in June 2004.

Court reconvenes today at 9 a.m. when Rogers, a Nobles County detective, is scheduled to take the witness stand.

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