News and Tribune

May 13, 2014

Attorney seeks to delay Clarksville murder trial

Wants independent analysis of evidence

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — The attorney for one of the two teens charged in a fatal 2013 shooting has asked the upcoming trial be delayed to have further testing of evidence taken from the crime scene.

Perry McCall made the request before Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael Tuesday.

McCall is representing Christopher Sowders, 18, while Bart Betteau is representing co-defendant Garreth Stephens, 19.

At this time, the trial for both Sowders and Stephens is scheduled for June 9.

Both men have been charged with murder, two class A felony counts of burglary and two class B felony counts of burglary.

The men were arrested days after Steven Baldwin was found March 11 shot and killed in his Clarksville home along Plum Wood Drive, near Sellersburg’s Hunter Station Road.

Carmichael has previously ruled to have the men tried during a joint trial.

She did not approve McCall’s request during the hearing, but gave him a deadline of May 28 to file a formal motion.

McCall said he wants to delay the trial to provide additional time for an independent lab to review evidence, which the state has already had tested by an Indiana State Police laboratory, and to orchestrate those results into his defense.

While both men are scheduled to be tried during the same trial, McCall said the evidence he wants further scrutinized affects his client more than Betteau’s.

McCall said that he does not anticipate the Office of the Clark County Prosecutor to offer a plea agreement prior to the case going to trial.