Iowa man accused of kidnapping 8-month-old defends himself in court

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 3:33 PM CDT|Updated: May. 1, 2023 at 4:28 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, La. (KPLC) - The new trial is underway for an Iowa man previously sentenced to 36 years in prison for kidnapping an eight-month-old baby.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeal reversed the conviction and sentence of Marcel Dugar in February due to “denial of self-representation.” Dugar wanted to represent himself in his 2021 trial, but Judge Clayton Davis denied his request.

The appeal court noted that a defendant’s wish to represent himself must be clear and unequivocal, and it was in Dugar’s case.

The jury was seated, and opening statements were given Monday afternoon.

Dugar is representing himself in the new trial. He told jurors that he is a good guy who would never hurt a child and he had permission to be at the home where the alleged kidnapping happened.

Assistant District Attorney Cadence Huber told the jury that when the evidence is presented, they will be convinced Dugar should be convicted.

The evidence phase will begin Tuesday morning.

Dugar is accused of entering a home through a window and taking a baby out of the arms of their grandmother in 2020. He was originally sentenced to six years for unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and 30 years for aggravated kidnapping.