Jesse Dimmick contends in the breach of contract suit seeking $235,000 that after he entered Jared and Lindsay Rowley’s house in 2009, they reached a legally binding, oral contract that they would hide him for an unspecified amount of money. Two years ago, fugitive murder suspect Jesse Dimmick kidnapped newlyweds Jared and Lindsay Rowley after bursting into their home on a Saturday morning.
Now, he’s suing them for $235,000. Dimmick contends in the breach of contract suit that after he entered the couple’s home in September 2009, they reached a legally binding, oral contract that they would hide him for an unspecified amount of money.
“Later, the Rowleys reneged on said oral contract, resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities,” Dimmick wrote in a notarized legal document, which said he was filing the counterclaim in response to a suit the Rowleys filed against him in September.
Dimmick personally — in longhand — wrote the counterclaim document, which was filed Oct. 21 in Shawnee County District Court.
He wrote: “As a result of the plaintiffs breech (sic) of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me. The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay.”
The Rowleys sought this month to have the suit dismissed, saying they never accepted Dimmick’s offer of money and — if they had — their consent would have been given under duress. District Judge Franklin Theis has yet to rule on their motion for dismissal.
At the time of the kidnapping, Dimmick was a fugitive facing a murder charge in the Adams County, Colo., killing earlier that month of Michael Curtis.
Dimmick was leading authorities on a vehicle chase in southwest Shawnee County on the morning of Sept. 12, 2009, when law enforcement stop sticks punctured the tires of the stolen van he was driving. The van came to a halt in the front yard at the home in the Dover community of the Rowleys, who had been married seven days earlier.
The Rowleys said Dimmick entered their home at about 9:30 a.m. that day and confronted them at knifepoint. A neighbor told The Topeka Capital-Journal in September 2009 that the couple gained his trust by eating Cheetos and drinking Dr Pepper with him while watching the movie “Patch Adams.”
The couple fled the house after Dimmick fell asleep. Police said they entered and ordered Dimmick onto his stomach before a Topeka police officer’s rifle accidentally discharged, striking Dimmick in the back.
Dimmick was convicted in May 2010 in Shawnee County District Court of four felonies, including two counts of kidnapping. He was sentenced to 10 years and 11 months in prison. Dimmick is now being held in the Adams County Detention Center in Brighton, Colo., on a murder charge linked to Curtis’ death.
Dimmick filed a civil suit against the city of Topeka in September 2010 seeking damages in excess of $75,000, including medical expenses. A pretrial hearing in the suit is set for April 12.
Attorney Robert E. Keeshan filed a suit last September on behalf of the Rowleys against Dimmick seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and contending he committed the torts of trespass, intrusion upon seclusion and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Dimmick filed a response Oct. 21 seeking to have the Rowleys’ claim dismissed and stating a counterclaim for breach of contract seeking $160,000 to cover hospital bills and $75,000 for pain and suffering.
Dimmick’s response said he was representing himself “without the aid of proffessional (sic) legal counsel.”
He wrote that after he entered the Rowleys’ home, “I told them that I was being pursuid (sic) by a person, or persons, who appeared to be police officers, who were trying to kill me.”
He added: “I, the defendant, asked the Rowleys to hide me because I feared for my life. I offered the Rowleys an unspecified amount of money which they agreed upon, therefore forging a legally binding oral contract.”
Dimmick’s response said he never brandished a knife or any other type of weapon to try to force the Rowleys to hide him or agree to a contract.
Keeshan filed an answer to Dimmick’s counterclaim on behalf of the Rowleys Oct. 27, then filed a motion to dismiss the counterclaim Nov. 4.
Keeshan wrote in the latter document that if the Rowleys had agreed to an oral contract — which they deny — it wouldn’t have been legally binding because no specific dollar amount was given.
“In order for parties to form a binding contract, there must be a meeting of the minds on all essential terms, including and most specifically, an agreement on the price,” he wrote.
Keeshan added that if the Rowleys had agreed to the contract, that agreement wouldn’t have been legally binding because their consent would have been given under duress.
He wrote, “The Rowleys believed he had a gun and knew that he had a knife.”
Keeshan also wrote there could be no legal contract because the Rowleys were asked to hide a fugitive, which is illegal.
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