Update: Officer wounded in Knicker's Saloon shooting takes stand - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: Officer wounded in Knicker's Saloon shooting takes stand

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Eddie Adams in March 2010 Eddie Adams in March 2010

Friday is Day Five of the Eddie Adams trial:


Friday, Lt. Scott Baxter of the Dubuque Police Department took the stand. He's the officer Adams' father Eddie Chest shot shortly after Knicker's Saloon was robbed.

Chest was supposed to testify Friday, but he decided parts of his testimony could further incriminate him, so he declined.

Instead, the court read Chest's deposition from an earlier date, in which Chest said the armed robbery of Knicker's was all his son Eddie Adams' idea and that Adams was the one who brought the sawed-off shotguns to Dubuque.

Chest had also said he expressed to his son that Knicker's looked too busy and he didn't think they'd get away with the crime.

Chest is serving prison time for shooting Baxter, among other crimes.

Baxter shot Chest that day.

"I still had my handgun drawn. My plan was to engage him, thinking he was going to, obviously, take deadly force against me, and the next thing I know, he had shot before I had the opportunity," Baxter said.

Baxter said he shot Chest to protect others.

"There's a bank across the street, there's houses everywhere, there's a school just a couple of blocks north. You know, plenty of places for him to go and cause more injury or death," Baxter said.


On Thursday, several police officers from the Dubuque Police Department took the stand. June McGinnis, the bartending at the time of the robbery, also took the stand.  She recalled hearing the men come in and telling everyone to get on the ground.  Then they found her, threatened to kill her and asked for money.  She did what she was trained to do.

"Please don't shoot me, I'll give you the money or whatever you want," McGinnis said.  She has worked at Knicker's for 20 years.

In the morning, the prosecution is going through witnesses quickly, with no cross examination happening from the defense.  But one key witness, the woman who called 911, Mandy Molzof.  She was in Knicker's at the time of the robbery, eating lunch with her grandmother.

"I said please I don't want to die yet. And she called. She's a brave one," her grandmother, Mary Dunwoody said.

"I reached for my cell phone which was inside my cart on the bar stool. I got my cell phone out and I tried dialing 911 as I was still standing. I finally got through and they said '911' I said "Knicker's Bar, Knicker's Bar, there's guys here with guns, get here now," Molzof said.

Dozens of witnesses are testifying in the trial of Eddie Adams.  All were customers at Knicker's Saloon the day of the robbery. Many say they remember two men walking into the bar, but some didn't realize the men had guns at first.

On the stand, George Saffron said he saw two men with guns. Saffron testified one of the men yelled "if she doesn't give you the money, shoot the b****."

All the morning's witnesses say they remembered being told to get on the ground and hearing someone ask for the money in the safe.


Wednesday, during the trial of Eddie Adams, the court heard from Curt Gerhard, the owner of Knicker's Saloon, who said he had more than $3,000 in cash on hand the day of the robbery.

The court also reviewed video surveillance of the shooting of Dubuque Police Lieutenant Scott Baxter.

According Dubuque police captain Jeremy Jensen, Baxter didn't want officers to notify his wife that he'd been shot.

"At that time, he actually told me he didn't want her to know about it, but I decided she probably should know about it, because he was going to the hospital," Jensen said.

Jurors saw the Glock handgun officers took from Lieutenant Baxter after the incident. They also heard from the police captain who found a sawed-off shotgun in a parking lot at the scene of the incident.

The prosecution called nine witnesses Wednesday, eight of whom are in law enforcement.

On Thursday, the prosecution plans on calling 13 witnesses, many of whom were Knicker's customers at the time of the armed robbery, including the woman who called 911.


Tuesday, opening statements began in the trial of Eddie Adams, who is accused of first degree armed robbery and attempted murder, as well as the unlawful possession of an offensive weapon and the unlawful possession of a firearm.

The charges come from the Dec. 2009 shooting of Dubuque Police Lieutenant Scott Baxter outside Dubuque's Knicker's Saloon.

47-year-old Adams was in court Monday for the jury selection. He and his father, Eddie Chest, were both charged in the incident. Both Baxter and Chest were injured, and both men recovered from their wounds.

On Tuesday, the opening statement of both prosecuting and defense lawyers involved the role of Adams' father, Chest.

The prosecution said Adams played a key role in this robbery and attempted murder, it wasn't just his father.

The defense, however, said Chest betrayed his son, and Adams was more at the mercy of his father's criminal behavior.

Tuesday, prosecutors called to the stand several witnesses from the Dubuque Police Department, including Capt. Kevin Klein and investigator Jeff Tupper.

Later in the trial, jurors will hear from the man Eddie Chest shot, Lt. Baxter, as well as the Knicker's Saloon customer, who called 911.

In March 2010, Judge Monica Ackley granted Chest and Adams two separate trials.

Adams' trial has been moved to the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, due to pretrial publicity, partly generated by his father's 2010 trial.

Eddie Chest pleaded guilty to the first-degree armed robbery charge and entered an Alford Plea to the charge of attempted murder. That means he didn't directly admit guilt to that charge but admitted there existed enough to evidence for a jury to find him guilty, were he to go to trial.

In January 2011, Judge Ackley sentenced Chest to 50 years in prison.

During jury selection, KWWL tried sitting in on the defense and prosecution attorneys' questioning of potential jurors, as has been done in other trials, but Judge Ackley prohibited any media coverage of jury selection.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.

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