(Above) Parke County triple murder suspect Chad Allan Cottrell is escorted into the Parke County courthouse in Rockville Thursday to formally hear the State of Indiana's decision to pursue the death penalty if he is convicted.
(Right) The mailbox at 2158 Wimmer Rd., Rockville, stands at the end of a driveway that leads to the house once inhabited by Chad and Trisha Cottrell. The driveway was once blocked by police tape that now blows in the wind. Near the mailbox, a floral cross has been placed as a memorial to the three females who were murdered in the home.
"My wife was a .... She got what she deserved," shouted Chad A. Cottrell while he was being escorted into the Parke County Courthouse Thursday afternoon by sheriff's deputies. Cottrell's statement were stated loud and clear for everyone in attendance to hear.
Cottrell was brought back to the Circuit Court Thursday to hear Judge Sam Swaim officially inform him that the Parke County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Cvengros and the State of Indiana has decided to pursue the death penalty if he is convicted. Judge Swaim also read the reasons that the death penalty had been brought against him.
Cottrell allegedly murdered his wife, Trisha Cottrell, 29, and her two daughters, Brittany Williams, 12, and Victoria Williams, 10, in the Cottrell's rural Rockville home. After a nationwide manhunt for Cottrell, he was apprehended in Minnesota after failing to pay for fuel at a gas station.
The state believes that the death penalty is applicable because more than one murder was committed, one of the children murdered was younger than 12 years of age and that both Brittany and Victoria were murdered "while committing or attempting to commit child molesting." These reasons constitute aggravating circumstances justifying imposition of the death penalty, according to the state's notice of intent to seek the death penalty.
Cottrell entered the courtroom smiling twice to the attendants and then sitting down next to his attorney Jessie Cook.
During Cottrell's court session, Cottrell testified that he did not have any real estate, checking or savings accounts, vehicles or other assets in his possession to pay attorney's fees. Judge Swaim also appointed Cottrell a second attorney, Eric Koselke, Indianapolis.