The Shelby County attorney is no longer heading the prosecution of a Defiance woman accused of fatally shooting her husband and storing his remains in their home. Shelby County Attorney Marcus Gross Jr. says he thinks it would be appropriate to remove himself. He says he filed a motion to withdraw as prosecuting attorney, because of his past contact with both victim and suspect in this case, to minimize any potential appearance of conflict of interest. Gross was appointed August first of this year to the County Attorney post in Shelby County, and before that was in private practice as a lawyer in the area.He says he’s had many clients, he says, and doesn’t think he can talk about just how he may have known the defendant or victim, as it’s privileged information only the client can disclose. 36-year-old Dixie Shanahan is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her husband Scott. 40-year-old Scott Shanahan had twice been convicted of domestic abuse in recent years. Gross says he grew up in Defiance, and has a lot of clients in town, some of whom conceivably could be called as witnesses in this case, another reason he asked to withdraw. If it’s a lesser offense, he says a county attorney from another possibly neighboring county may be asked to handle the case, and if it’s a more involved or high-profile case, the prosecutor may call on the attorney general’s office. Gross says Iowa Assistant Attorney General Charles Thoman will help prosecute the case. Thoman has handled several high-profile murder trials around Iowa. Investigators who found Scott Shanahan’s body in a bedroom of the couple’s home say they think he died in August 2002. Dixie Shanahan remains free on bail — her arraignment scheduled next Monday and her case set for trial Jan. 27.
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