James Exline’s Mother Accused of Causing Second Mistrial


James Exline (WHO-HD)

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JEFFERSON, Iowa – A Jefferson man accused of molesting his teenage daughter is asking the court to not allow his mother to testify.

Court documents filed Tuesday state Shirley Exline caused a mistrial on May 2nd by failing to follow an order of the court restricting her testimony.  The motion to exclude her as a witness states Shirley “knowingly, intentionally and willfully violated the order of the court” when she testified that her granddaughter Paige Exline was “murdered.”

James Exline’ attorney is also asking that Shirley be held in contempt of court.  Court documents show counsel for the state did extensive trial preparation with Shirley explaining the restrictions of her testimony.

James Exline faces second and third degree sexual abuse charges stemming from alleged abuse of his then 12 year-old daughter Paige.

After two mistrials in two different counties, James Exline’s third trial is scheduled to begin June 4th in Bremer County.

Paige and her cousin Shakiah Cockerham died in a house fire at Shirley’s home in Guthrie Center last May.  James’s stepson Patrick Thompson is accused of intentionally setting the fire.  He faces charges of arson, murder and attempted murder.  His trial is scheduled for September.

James’ son Noah Exline is also charged with sexually abusing Paige. His trial for seven counts of second degree sexual abuse is scheduled for late October.


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