Osage man’s attempted murder, sexual abuse retrial scheduled

OSAGE — The retrial of an Osage man previously convicted of attempted murder, solicitation to commit murder and third-degree sexual abuse has been scheduled.

56-year-old Mark Retterath was convicted in 2016 by a Mitchell County jury and sentenced to 35 years in prison after being accused of sexually abusing a person and then planning to kill his victim using ricin poison extracted from castor beans.

Retterath appealed the conviction, saying he wanted to obtain counseling records of two people who testified against him during his trial. The pair stated that he asked for their help in killing his sexual abuse victim, with his claim being the records would show the witnesses had conditions that might impact their credibility. A district court judge denied that request, but the Iowa Court of Appeals overturned that ruling and ordered the district court to review the counseling records. The records for only one of the witnesses could be obtained, but it was enough for the district court to order a new trial.

Prosecutors appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court, who ruled that Retterath was not automatically entitled to a new trial but could continue to seek the counseling records of the other witness, and if those records contained information justifying a new trial that one should be granted.

Court records show that an order was filed in Mitchell County District Court on Wednesday, setting the trial for November 14th.