By EDIE CAMPE
Accused murderer Chad A. Cottrell was brought back to the Parke County Courthouse at Rockville on Thursday. His attorneys sought a protective order to prevent authorities from discussing details of the case with Cottrell.
Cottrell told his attorneys he no longer wishes to speak with authorities about issues regarding the case.
He is charged with murdering his wife, Trisha Cottrell, 29, and her two daughters, Brittany Williams, 12, and Victoria Williams, 10, during Halloween weekend.
Attorney Eric Koselke told Judge Sam Swaim that any information about the case given by Cottrell or information regarding Cottrell himself should be protected by Cottrell's Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights.
Koselke said that even though his client may initiate the conversation, any information released could be detrimental to the case and Cottrell's defense.
Before being ushered into the courthouse during a November court date, Cottrell told reporters his wife, "deserved what she got." But attorneys did not mention specific statements or conversations when making their request to the judge.
On Dec. 15, Judge Swaim signed a temporary order that authorities must contact one of Cottrell's attorneys, Jessie Cook or Koselke, if Cottrell initiated a conversation or if authorities decided to question Cottrell about the case. The judge made the order permanent on Thursday.
The U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment states that, "No person shall be ... compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself ... ."
The Sixth Amendment states, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall ... have the assistance of counsel for his defense."
Defense Attorney Jessie Cook asked the court to postpone the Jan. 3 court date to give attorneys more time to prepare for a pre-trial conference.
Swaim granted the request and rescheduled Cottrell's next court date to Jan. 12 at 1 p.m.
Cook also asked the judge to approve a request to stop authorities from discussing Cottrell's case with the media.
That request is still pending.