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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Still no decision on Lovett bond reduction

Thursday, August 21, 2008

(Photo)
John Lovett
It could be six more weeks before the oral arguments take place and a decision is made in the evidentiary portion of the bond reduction hearing for the man accused of murdering Tonya Pickett and her stepfather Rick Mustard in their home on Nov. 20, 1988.

John Lovett, 37, Brazil, is currently incarcerated at the Clay County Justice Center for his alleged involvement in the 20-year-old murders after a Grand Jury handed down two formal allegations of murder in March.

An improper hearing process allowed Lovett to bond out for 10 percent of the initial $200,000 bond on April 16. When the mistake was discovered and the bond revoked by the Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout, Lovett voluntarily turned himself in to authorities at the Clay County Sheriff's Department without incident on May 12.

The problem stemmed from a rarely used legal precedent that allows a defendant facing murder charges to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution and present their own evidence in order to request a bond reduction.

Trout felt the issue needed to be corrected immediately to protect the integrity of the case and ensure Lovett's legal rights.

"The defense has a legal right to challenge evidence presented by the prosecution during the bond process," he recently told The Brazil Times. "Afterwards, the court will then make a legal decision if a bond reduction should be made."

Officials agree this is an unusual court proceeding.

"There really isn't that much previous case law to work from," Special Prosecuting Attorney David N. Powell said after Thursday's court proceedings. "It is unusual for a bond reduction request in a murder case. This has happened only a handful of times."

Although Defense Attorney Richard Kammen challenged several Grand Jury witnesses and the investigators during testimony in the evidentiary portion of the proceedings on Aug. 12, 13 and Thursday, both Powell and Prosecutor Delbert Brewer believe their case is strong.

"Nothing new was brought up during these proceedings," Powell said after Forensic Pathologist John E. Pless finished testifying Thursday. "Nothing has changed, no new evidence was presented."

Focusing on which victim was shot first, the position of Pickett's body and whether it was moved after her death, Kammen questioned Pless about the autopsy reports, crime scene photos and his interpretation of that evidence.

At conclusion of the court proceedings, Trout said the attorneys had agreed to present submissions to the court of highlighted rebuttal testimony from the more than 3,000 pages in order to speed up the bond process.

In compliance with the agreement, Powell presented the prosecution's document but requested another week from the court to highlight specific testimony in regards to Pless' testimony Thursday and testimony provided by Indiana State Police Lead Investigator Alan McElroy on Aug. 13.

Because the defense is able to cross examine evidence presented in the prosecution's submission that should be filed on or before Aug. 29, Trout said Kammen must present his rebuttal on or before Sept. 5.

With expectations of reviewing a large amount of paperwork, Trout believes he will be able to set the date for oral arguments to take place in court within six weeks. Afterwards, Trout said a decision would be made after reviewing both arguments regarding Lovett's bond reduction.

With his bond proceedings still pending, Lovett remains incarcerated at the Clay County Justice Center.


Comments
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What difference does it make who was shot first or if either one of them was moved? Murder Is Murder!I cannot believe the excuses that keep coming up. Would Defense Attorney Kammen keep coming up with these excuses if it was his son or daughter who was murdered? Sure, the guy has a job to do but as the law states-NO BAIL FOR A MURDER CHARGE. Why so may questions on this?????

-- Posted by levr.gar on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 10:36 AM

OK respectfully! Lynch mobs are of the past!!! The right person/people need to be found so there can be closure for everyone! SO MUCH WASTED TIME AND MONEY IN THE WRONG DIRECTION...DO NOT JUST ACCUSE A PERSON AND ATTACK THAT PERSON JUST TO HAVE SOME PEACE! GO AFTER THE RIGHT ONE! AND JOHN IS NOT IT! THERE IS NO EVIDENCE I HAVE LISTENED WITH MY OWN EARS...NOTHING! NORMAL EVERY DAY THINGS THAT EVERYONE ELSE GOES THROUGH IT DOES NOT MAKE US MURDERERS...JUST PLEASE THINK!

-- Posted by loving_sis on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 6:13 PM

a sitting grand jury brought these charges

so there had to be some proof otherwise they would have voted to let him go

-- Posted by dovelw on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 6:40 PM

thank you loving_sis for that comment!!

by the way loving_cuz and loving_sis are not related for those wondering and making those comments.Just clarifying for everyone.I actually have no idea who this is although i also have been sitting in the same room evidently as this individual. Kammen isn't using excuses he showing what the state keeped qiet and hidden in papers

-- Posted by loving_cuz on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 9:04 PM

A grand jury does not not bring down an indictment without edvidence. I am not a lynch mob-all I have said is follow the law-which states NO BAIL ON A MURDER CHARGE! I did not attack anyone or accuse! You listened? To what? Well I have lived it. For 20 years. I rocked my s baby to sleep at night when he woke up from a nightmare screaming for his daddy. I dealt with my children coming home from school in tears (after being kept home for a few weeks) because of other kids tormenting them. I dealt with years of therapy for them. You know the worse? I'll tell you...When your baby looks at you and says "I don't remember my Dad". He was only 6 1/2 when his Daddy was taken from him. Something positive came of this for Rick's oldest son-he is now a police officer..the youngest well; he still has many problems dealing with the loss of his Dad. So you need to stop and do some thinking yourself. Once again this is not the trial; this is about bail...and the law specifies no bail on a murder charge.

-- Posted by levr.gar on Fri, Aug 22, 2008, at 9:24 PM

Again very respectfully! Not directing this at the family! But I will defend when there are things being said about John and if there are untruths being said behind his back! My sympathy is with the children and families that have had many years of grief ALL of the attacking of ANY kind and ACCUSATIONS OF ANY KIND JUST NEED TO STOP that is what I meant by "THINK" EVERYONE has a long road ahead of them and it is not going to get anyone anywhere or help the situation with the rude snide comments and little diggs because TRUST ME FAMILY AND FRIENDS WILL DEFEND AND STAND BY FAMILY! Leave this to the trial it will be decided there 12 people will look at the evidence... also LET THE JUDGE DO HIS JOB THAT IS WHAT HE GETS PAID FOR HE WILL DECIDE IF THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED WAS SHADY...

-- Posted by loving_sis on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 8:25 AM

I was just wondering what type of evidence supported a guilty verdict... I was in drill team with Tonya and John was in my class of 89. At the time I remember we had a dance that evening and he had supposedly dropped her off afterwards only for her to find someone inside waiting on what was supposed to be her mother instead of her. John was always polite, quiet, sweet in high school...certainly not the murdering type.And their relationship seemed to be the normal high school sweethearts. What would his motive be, especially murdering the step father? I hope Clay County hasn't jumped the gun under pressure to get the cold case solved. You would think a child murderer would leave alot of clues behind that would indicate their guilt..and why would he not even be looked at as a suspect all those years ago? Seems like Mayberry lives on to me.

-- Posted by angelamcconnell on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 9:14 AM

-- Posted by loving_sis on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 8:39 AM

Once again-this is about bail-not the trial. Yet some are acting as judge and jury. While I have NEVER accused anyone I will ALWAYS stand by my children. IF or when there ever is a trial then YES let the jurors decide. The last 20 years has been hell on our boys and tho we want justice, this is putting them thru a living hell all over again. No one can even begin to imagine what they have lived with... and without. It's one thing to grow up without a parent; it's another to grow up losing that parent under these conditions. They deserve some peace as do the rest of the family.

-- Posted by levr.gar on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 9:20 AM

It is great Friends and Family should be there to support your family through this though time... I'm glad that you stick by your family that is great but in the SAME RESPECT John also has a huge support of family and friends that are there for him and his family going through this difficult time as well...I know you keep measuring what you and your family have been through vs John and his family IT HAS NEVER BEEN A QUESTION THAT YOU FAMILY HAS NOT BEEN THROUGH HELL, But, regardless...It all comes down to respect for others John still has family and friends that love him and believe in his innocence...let the trial take care of things... REMEMBER THIS INNOCENT UNTIL ...PROVEN...GUILTY!!! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! And again remember let the judge decide about bail or not he went to school has many years of training and gets paid to make that decision...

-- Posted by loving_sis on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 5:46 PM

It is great Friends and Family should be there to support your family through this though time... I'm glad that you stick by your family that is great but in the SAME RESPECT John also has a huge support of family and friends that are there for him and his family going through this difficult time as well...I know you keep measuring what you and your family have been through vs John and his family IT HAS NEVER BEEN A QUESTION THAT YOUR FAMILY HAS NOT BEEN THROUGH HELL, But, regardless...It all comes down to respect for others John still has family and friends that love him and believe in his innocence...let the trial take care of things... REMEMBER THIS INNOCENT UNTIL ...PROVEN...GUILTY!!! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! And again remember let the judge decide about bail or not he went to school has many years of training and gets paid to make that decision...

-- Posted by loving_sis on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 5:53 PM

To loving_sis.......Why is it you keep talking about respect when what I saw in the courtroom on Thursday was a lack of respect on John's side of the room. They sat there an snickered and giggled as the pathologist talked about Tonya's dead body on the floor in a pool of blood and what a body does after death. All while Tonya's mother sat there and cried because of the pain of having to hear the gory details of her daughters death and her body. That is what I call very disrespectful and cold hearted people. Imagine yourself in those shoes the next time you all sit there giggling and snickering. I don't see any of this amusing.

-- Posted by photobug on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 6:14 PM

I expect to see comments from family members but some of you people do not have a clue!

All the comments posted from people that think they are smarter then the detectives and think they know how this case should go, should post their college degrees with their experiences on how they learned in school how to solve murder crimes and how to "judge" people. If you didn't study to be a detective, lawyer, pathologists or in forinsics then I suggest you all leave it to the experts.

The people who are working on the case are professionals so lets leave it to them. There is more then one person and department working on the case. They didn't know Tonya, Rick or John so there not going to make stuff up to solve a crime. They have nothing to gain. If this case was not something they could present evidence on they would have moved on to another case.

I think a lot of people are in for a rude awakeing when the trial starts. Do you think that the attorney's and the detectives would have not pursuid this case if they did not have evidence they needed to take this case to trial? Do you think that they would be sharing all the information they have at this time to the general public? I don't think so. Come on people, be real, no one knows all the info to this case but the detectives. Attonry's and detectives do not reveal their information until trial.

And whoever angelamcconnell is or anyone elso who makes a remark about what you think happened that night, don't, unless you know something then in that case I guess you will be a witness and will be in the trial, right?

If I remember right most of the drill team girls didn't even give Tonya the respect that she deserved. Most teased and made fun of her because she struggled with her weight and she wasn't in the right "clique". I don't know who you are and I hope that you were not one of them! Tonya was a very smart straight A student who couldn't even stand to see an ant get stepped on under foot. She had a big heart and loved school, her friends and drill team and it is a shame that she wasn't treated better by the girls on the drill team.

Until then....see you all at the trial!

-- Posted by Loving Aunt on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 10:16 PM

We really have to stop this craziness. Both sides have to be respectful of the other. Yes,John's side is going to plead for him as is Tonya and Ricky's are going to plead for them. Bashing and name calling are not going to get any of us anywhere.By doing so, we only add to the pain. I have to say that I was impressed the first few days of the bond hearing when both sides seemed to be cordial to one another.What happened in a week? We have a long road ahead of all of us. It seems to have become a cheering session in which there is a score being kept. There are no winners here. This case has brought two deaths resulting in a tormented wife and mother that never got to see her only child grow up. She was left as a widow and childless.What about the rest of the victims as well, two little boys grief stricken,three sisters that lost a brother and had to hear rumors of how he was into drugs,a set of parents that had to bury a son and never have answers,a sister like cousin without her dearest cousin Tonya, an aunt that loved her niece like her own child....etc Please understand that there is no score. John looses as well, GUILTY or INNOCENT. His name is everywhere, his wife working herself into the ground to try to pay and support him,John's two innocent children that became victims of circumstances, an uncle that has stepped up to the plate to play the role of John's father,etc. Please keep in mind that it is possible to have two sides that want the same outcome, justified answers. Both sides need to be kind enough to one another and respect what the other is going through. Just because the Pickett/Mustard side wants justice,does not mean that they are casting stones at John. Regardless of if they think that John is guilty or innocent,they want and deserve answers. Of anything in this world that I remember most about Tonya is that she was a peace keeper. She was an awesome girl with a huge heart. We need to perhaps go back and honor her by learning from her beautiful spirit that we were all so blessed to have had in our lives for such a short time. Turmoil would not be something that Tonya would have wanted. It only adds to the pain.

-- Posted by dogcrazy on Sun, Aug 24, 2008, at 6:17 AM

To photobug: I was not there Thursday so I Know nothing of what you are talking about...And to dogcrazy: I AGREE WITH EVERY WORD THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR OBJECTIVE WORDS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE HEARD SOMETHING ENCOURAGING TO THE FAMILIES, EVERYONE INVOLVED...

-- Posted by loving_sis on Sun, Aug 24, 2008, at 8:08 AM

Thank you photbug! I also reflected on the word respect being "used" but not being used. I have also noted the word funny being used in reference to the investigation. There is nothing nor was there ever anything ever funny about this. Like our sons I am just waiting for the day it is all over. I only hope I am more fortunate than Rick's parents..that I live long enough to see justice.

-- Posted by levr.gar on Sun, Aug 24, 2008, at 10:57 AM

I do "USE" RESPECT ...I will not ever stoop to being disrespectful...And I have never thought anything was funny about any of this or the pain and suffering of so many people...

-- Posted by loving_sis on Sun, Aug 24, 2008, at 5:23 PM

Please everyone, let's stop this before it goes any further. Obviously there are a lot of emotions running right now. Sadly, times like this brings back the memories and emotions from the past that we all have tried so desperately to leave behind,as it also brings up new ones. As far as the families on both sides, I am certain that we all want to make the best of a horrible situation. John's father in law was kind enough to hold a door for a member of Tonya's family and his mother in law was kind enough to greet us in the restroom. I appreciate that they displayed such values ,as does Tonya's mother. We all have a long road ahead of us. We can expect not to agree,however, we can do it with grace. No one nor nothing can change the past.Being at odds will only make things worse and potentiate the stress to those so directly connected to Tonya and Rick. May God be with each and everyone of us. In loving memory.

-- Posted by dogcrazy on Sun, Aug 24, 2008, at 8:32 PM

U have to be kiding me...... I am a friend and my sister is married to John and I think the Brazil Police are barking up the wrong tree. There was alot of coverup in the begining by a cop named Lindsey. Do u think a 17 yr old kid would of needed a coverup. Come on people we all know who did it!!!!!!!! And by the way it is just as hard on my niece and nephew. The family of Tanya and Rick are not the only ones that are suffering.

-- Posted by godfreyjennifer on Sat, Aug 30, 2008, at 7:12 PM


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