Blue Earth woman appealing felony conviction

Local News

A Blue Earth woman is appealing her conviction of perjury to the Minnesota Courts of Appeals.

Gary Gittus, an attorney for Allison Ann Mastin, filed an appeal with the state’s Appellate Court on June 7.

Mastin was found guilty of perjury by a 12-member jury last January but was acquitted of aiding an offender — obstructing an investigation.

Mastin was accused of lying under oath during a July 2018 hearing held for Wyatt Eugene Tungland, who was convicted of assaulting a former Blue Earth Area football teammate in October 2017.

In court documents, Gittus lists three issues in a statement of the case for the appeal filed on July 8.

Gittus questions whether there was sufficient evidence to convict on perjury in Mastin’s circumstantial case, which he says, merits stricter scrutiny than convictions based on direct evidence.

He says the sufficiency of the evidence in the case resulted in a “split verdict,” which does not appear consistent.

There was clear error on Judge Troy Timmerman’s part, says Gittus, when he initially ruled that any references to media reports and social media were prohibited, but later allowed media references by a law enforcement officer.

Gittus contends there was prosecutorial misconduct when assistant County Attorney LaMar Piper failed or chose not to disclose information from medical records of a key witness.

He says that Piper interviewed the witness the night before the start of the trial and learned of his concussion history that was verified by his medical records.

Gittus says the interview and medical records were never disclosed to him, which is required by state law. He says the witness recorded the interview with Piper and later gave it to him after the jury began deliberations’

According to Gittus, the witness’s ability to know, remember and relate the events in question points to the requirements of competency.

Mastin was denied a request for a new trial and was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail. She was given four days credit for time already served, placed on supervised probation for two years and fined $1,085.

In addition, she was ordered to abstain from use of mood-altering chemicals; complete a chemical dependency assessment; be subjected to random drug testing; give DNA samples as directed; work 40 hours on Sentence to Service; cannot possess firearms, ammunition or explosives; and cannot vote.

The Appellate Court has not set a date yet for Gittus and the Faribault County Attorney’s Office to present oral arguments.

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