Muscatine man admits trying to get witnesses to lie

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Phillip Ahrens photo from Muscatine County Jail

A Muscatine man pleaded guilty to trying to get witnesses to lie to protect himself in an assault case.

Phillip Ahrens, 23, was charged with assault resulting in serious injury after he allegedly struck and kicked a woman during an altercation July 31, 2013.

The woman “suffered a fractured orbit and bleeding on the brain as a result of the attack,” said Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren.

While he was in jail on that charge, prosecutors said Ahrens conspired with another person to try to get witnesses to give false information to police and to the court. That resulted in an additional charge filed, alleging conspiracy to commit tampering with a witness.

Ostergren said Ahrens pleaded guilty to both charges Friday, November 1, 2013.

“I am very pleased with this guilty plea,” Ostergren said. “After viciously assaulting the victim the defendant then assaulted the rule of law by attempting to get people to lie on his behalf.”

Ostergren is seeking the maximum available sentence of seven years in prison.

Ahrens was scheduled to be sentenced in Muscatine County District Court on December 6.