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Friday, May 02, 2014

Ind. Decisions - More on "It is a ruling that appears to be unprecedented in Indiana"

Updating yesterday's ILB post, Rebecca S. Green of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette follows up with a story today headed "Murder case now on hold with order." Some quotes:

The murder case against Andres Gonzalez Jr., accused of killing a woman whose body was found in an area lake, is now in limbo.

On Thursday, Noble Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch granted Prosecutor Steve Clouse’s request to delay transferring the case to Allen County.

Clouse has until May 9 to file a motion for an interlocutory appeal in the case – meaning he will ask the state’s appellate court to rule on this issue while the case is still ongoing

In his ruling, Kirsch expressed “great concern” about the seriousness of the charge and how any delay in the case might affect the prosecution of Gonzalez, who remains in jail, held without bail, according to court documents.

On Wednesday, Kirsch granted a request by Noble County Chief Public Defender James Abbs to move the case from Noble County to Allen County because that was where court documents filed in the case allege the crime occurred. * * *

Clouse charged the pair in March in Noble Superior Court. Under Indiana law, a murder case can be filed in the county where a body is discovered.

But Abbs argued in a motion to dismiss and a motion to transfer that the state constitution provides defendants with the right to have their cases heard in the county where the crime occurred. Because all the documents and statements by witnesses alleged Justin was killed in Allen County, the case should be transferred there, Abbs argued.

After hearing arguments this week, Kirsch granted his request.

On Thursday morning, Clouse filed a motion for a stay on Kirsch’s ruling to give him time to allow the Indiana Court of Appeals to consider the matter.

Clouse, through his deputy prosecutor J. Everett Newman, argued Tuesday that Noble County had a duty and obligation to investigate the case after Justin’s body was discovered in the lake. Even though information about where or how she died remains inconclusive, the body was last handled in Noble County and the case should be tried there, Newman said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 2, 2014 01:38 PM
Posted to Ind. Trial Ct. Decisions