By IVY HERRON
At the pre-trial hearing in Hamilton County on Aug. 10, Chad A. Cottrell's defense team asked the court for what could be called "expense money." The 35-year-old Parke County man is accused of committing a triple homicide in October 2005.
Officials at the Hamilton County Courthouse said details about the motion for "exparte payments for items submitted to the court on behalf of the defense" will not be made available at this time.
On June 21, Cottrell's defense attorneys, Eric Koselke and Jessie Cook, petitioned the court for funding to obtain newscasts that potentially influenced the jury pool in Hamilton County as evidence for supporting a change of venue motion.
Superior Court No. 3 Judge William Hughes approved the use of Parke County funds totaling $10,500 be used to acquire approximately 100 newscasts (at a cost of $105-$165 per video clip) from affiliate stations of ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX.
Due to the nature of the charges and notoriety surrounding the upcoming murder trial, Judge Hughes, Parke County Prosecutor Steve Cvengros, Chad A. Cottrell and his defense attorneys attend regular meetings, about once a month, to discuss issues that may develop in the case.
The next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m., Sept. 21, but, according to courthouse officials, it could be canceled if there are no case issues to discuss.
Judge Hughes will determine where -- in Hamilton or Parke county -- and if upcoming pre-trial hearings scheduled for Nov. 9 at 9 a.m. and Dec. 4 at 1:30 p.m. will take place. The availability of the Parke County Sheriff's Department to transport Cottrell is part of the judge's decision.
Cottrell's murder trial, which is anticipated to last two to four weeks, is scheduled to start April 30.
He is accused of murdering his wife, Trisha Cottrell, 29, and her two daughters, Brittany Williams, 12, and Victoria Williams, 10, in the family's rural Rockville home during the 2005 Halloween weekend.