Judge: Western IA Mom convicted in slaying must see kids


September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A prosecutor is expressing outrage about a decision ordering a father to take his two children cross-country to visit their mother while she’s in prison for killing a man in their rural western Iowa home in 2001.  Judge Nancy Whittenburg has ordered Michael Roberts to take his children from California to visit their mother, Tracey Richter, at Polk County’s Mitchellville prison while she appeals.

Whittenburg says the kids have a bond with their mother and the visits will “bring closure to the sudden and traumatic events of the past year.”  Sac County Atorney Ben Smith said Thursday he respected the decision, but couldn’t disagree more. He says it’s “mind-boggling” Richter still has parental rights since she shot 20-year-old Dustin Wehde while the kids were one room away. Richter claims self-defense.