Conviction of murder affirmed

Published 10:46 am Friday, December 17, 2004

By Staff
ST. JOSEPH - Michigan Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 affirmed the convictions of Russell Arthur Reitz for the first-degree murder of Dale Peterson and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
The case arose from the execution murder of Peterson in the driveway of his home in Three Oaks in the early morning hours of Aug. 18, 2002.
Reitz shot Peterson seven times. At the time, Reitz was the boyfriend of Lori Towle, Peterson's business partner. Towle was convicted at a separate trial on July 24, 2003, of two conspiracies to commit first-degree murder: one to murder Peterson and the other to murder Charles Casper, who drove Reitz to and from Peterson's home on the morning of the murder and agreed to testify against Reitz and Towle.
Towle's appeal of those convictions is pending.
The Michigan Court of Appeals concluded that there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in presenting the case.
The court also concluded the trial judge did not abuse his discretion: in admitting a detective's opinion that Casper's first statement to police was false; in providing the jury with a transcript of a taped conversation, in delaying a motion for mistrial; and in allowing the playing of a cassette tape.