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Lovett attempting to get bond reduced

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

(Photo)
Clay County Sheriff's Department jailers escort John Lovett to the Clay County Courthouse Wednesday. [Order this photo]
A bond reduction and evidentiary hearing is taking place in Clay County Circuit Court for a Brazil man arrested for his alleged involvement in the double homicide of Tonya Pickett, 16, and her stepfather Ricky Mustard, 32, on Nov. 20, 1988.

Arrested in March on a Grand Jury indictment for two counts of murder and initially incarcerated with a $200,000 bond, John Lovett, 37, Brazil, was released on bail from the Clay County Justice Center April 16 after raising the 10 percent, $20,000, for bail.

A few weeks later it was discovered there was an improper hearing process.

According to Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout, no evidentiary hearing took place before the court set the bond in April. An evidentiary hearing would have allowed Lovett and his defense counsel to present evidence and challenge the case against him.

When the court revoked his bond, Lovett voluntarily turned himself in to authorities at the Clay County Sheriff's Department without incident on May 12.

A new warrant was issued by the court stating that Lovett remain incarcerated in jail until the hearing could be held.

On Tuesday, Defense Attorney Richard Kammen presented several witnesses in Circuit Court in an attempt to the show that testimony provided to the Grand Jury in February was potentially one-sided.

Officials believed the testimony provided during the Grand Jury process in February would enhance the 20-year-old investigation and help develop even more evidence because witnesses were compelled to tell the truth by penalty of perjury.

It was the second time a Grand Jury had been convened in this case.

Kammen is attempting to show the judge that Lovett had a good relationship with Pickett and would not be involved in her murder or that of her father.

In 2004, Brazil City Police Captain Roger Lindsay, one of the original investigators, was accused of creating false information that wrongly implicated individuals of the murders. Officials believe Lindsay's alleged tampering hampered both the original case and the subsequent Indiana State Police Cold Case Investigative Team's investigations of the unsolved crime for more than 17 years.

Kammen continues presenting witness testimony in court today in an effort to prove to the court that Lovett should receive a bond reduction and challenge the prosecution's case against his client.

The Brazil Times will update this story.


Comments
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I am interested in hearing all of the facts. Seems a bit weak at this point!

-- Posted by sassypants on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 1:05 PM

He didn't do it.

-- Posted by BrazilBillie on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 1:53 PM

Innocent until proven guilty BUT that is not the issue here.... This a a double murder charge and 20 years old at that. why is bail even an option? Was Rick and Tonya given any options? Was Rick's children? How about his parent's who died without ever getting any answers? Are Tonya's parents going to live long enough to see jusitce done? There has to be strong evidence to get a grand jury incictment in in the first place. He was under some suspect at the time-he failed a lie dedector's test but of course that's not admissible. He was questioned but like eveyone else that was there wasn't enough at the time; but the grand jury seems to think they have enought now. But the point of this story is the subject of bail and there should be no bail on a double murder charge indictment. It's always a different story when it doesn't hurt you or your family--think about that when you want a murder SUSPECT running free.

-- Posted by levr.gar on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 5:48 PM

BrazilBillie-Were you there when the murders took place??? If not, you don't know for sure that he didn't do it.

-- Posted by virginiagrace on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 7:33 PM

i hope you people never have to go through what i have suffered!!!!!!if the grand jury did not have the evidence then there would not have been an arrest!!!!!!!!and to release a murder suspect on bond i think not.and yes,i feel for johns family, but what about our family? the heartache,suffering,not knowing.think about it if you were in our shoes

-- Posted by mustard01 on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:03 AM

Just so eveyone knows John has passed a lie detector test in 88, not saying this hateful to anyone but you need to have your facts straight before you comment. I also believe he took another one at a later date and passed it at a later date. Yes to sassypants this is an extremely week case because as of right now they isn't anything but here say and none of that is towards John. It was pretty bad when the State investagator couldn't even answer the defenses questions without squarming in his set, that was funny

-- Posted by loving_cuz on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 7:13 PM

Even though I have lived in Brazil my entire life, I didn't know the victims in this case and I don't know the accused.

But everything I have read in the paper to this point about the case seems pretty weak. However, I'm sure there is alot more to come, especially in the actual trial. At least there better be more than this!

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 7:08 AM

yes--very funny cuz--from what I know he did't pass the lie dectector test but as we all know that can't be used in court. Would it be funny if it was your dad murdered? As for a weak case a grand jury doesn't bring down on an indictment on a whim; there is something. This story is about bail, not innocent or guilt and no matter who the suspect is there should. be no bail on a murder charge let along a double charge.

-- Posted by levr.gar on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 11:35 AM

Very Respectfully to everyone! He did pass the lie detector test I really don't know why this false statement keeps being made! Court room is not closed, nothing is secretive, all the facts are there it was brought out several times he passed!! All I do know there is an innocent man sitting jail...The investigators have nothing on him! I do hope for closure for everyone involved but to put the RIGHT person/people in jail...

-- Posted by loving_sis on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 5:07 PM

Thanks again loving_sis!! For backing me up on the test. U truly are a great person!

-- Posted by loving_cuz on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 10:37 PM

I guess that what saddens me the greatest is the lack of support expressed by John's side for the Pickett and Mustard side. If John cared so much for Tonya, where is the remorse and respect for Tonya? Bashing the people trying to see justice done is a direct disrespect to her and Ricky. Tonya and Ricky's families have often mentioned their thoughts and prayers as to the Lovetts. It is all a terrible shame. Don't you think that Tonya's mother wishes it wasn't John? Who would want that to be the case? John stresses how deeply he loved her. I realy hope that everyone can be respectful to both sides and not bash one another. Afterall, the fact is, Tonya and Ricky are still gone, regardless of any outcome of this case. If John walks, you will have your family unit back. That is something Tonya and Ricky's families will never experience. Please be respectful!

-- Posted by dogcrazy on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 5:16 AM

Thank you, dogcrazy. I am Rick's cousin and so far not a lot has been said about his and Tonya's families on this. IF John did do it, he shouldn't walk and if he's innocent, then he should be set free. As for everyone who is adamant that he is not guilty, were you there? Does anyone know what it's like to get a phone call at 4:00 in the morning saying your nephew and his stepdaughter were murdered in cold blood? My dad still can't forget. That they were both shot in the head? Ricky was not a threat to anyone. He was recovering from a severe head injury and couldn't walk without the help of a walker. So, to EVERYONE who thinks John didn't do it, but we find out he did, think about this and hope it NEVER happens to your family.

-- Posted by corgimom64@yahoo.com on Tue, Aug 19, 2008, at 10:16 AM


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