Parke County Sheriff's Deputy Eddie McHargue escorts Chad A. Cottrell to court on March 23.
Hamilton, Tippecanoe and Vanderburgh counties are the prospective choices for the venue change of the upcoming triple-murder case against Chad A. Cottrell. The announcement came from Parke Circuit Court.
Cottrell is charged with three counts of murder for his connection to the October slayings of his wife, Trisha Cottrell, and two stepdaughters, Brittany, 12, and Victoria, 10, Williams at their home during the Halloween weekend.
Details concerning autopsy results, the crime scene and the investigation have not been released, but information regarding possible child molestation was released in November as a motive for the crime when Parke Prosecutor Steve Cvengros notified the court the State would be seeking the death penalty if Cottrell was convicted.
Due to the nature of the case against Cottrell, his lawyers, Jesse Cook and Eric Koselke, filed a Change of Venue motion in mid-March in hopes of moving the trial to another county. Prosecutor Cvengros did not object to the motion because the State of Indiana could possibly be held at fault for not granting a change of venue after a conviction.
Judges from the three counties have agreed to accept the Cottrell case if chosen. Judge William Hughes, Hamilton County, Judge Thomas H. Busch, Tippecanoe County, or Judge Carl A. Heldt, Vanderburgh County, is expected to preside over the trial.
If the defense and prosecution can't come to an agreement on one of the three counties, the defense will be given seven days to strike off a county of their choosing while the State is given an additional three days to strike off one. The case will then be transferred to remaining county.