Owsley legal team gets extension

Attorneys for Logan Owsley have received additional time to respond to a motion to dismiss his federal lawsuit against Bartholomew County officials.

Judge Mark J. Dinsmore, U.S. magistrate judge, Southern District of Indiana, gave Owsley’s attorneys — Trent McCain of Merrillville, and the firm of Loevy and Loevy, which has an office in Chicago — until Monday to respond to the motion to dismiss.

Attorneys for the defendants, Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher, former Sheriff Mark Gorbett, current deputies Dean A. Johnson, Brent Worman, William Kinman Jr. and Christopher M. Roberts, and former deputies E. DeWayne Janes and Christie L. Nunemaker, have until March 8 to respond, if desired.

In the federal lawsuit, Owsley alleges conspiracy, obstruction of justice and discrimination against former and current Bartholomew County sheriff’s deputies and county officials in the investigation into his father Cary Owsley’s shooting death on April 7, 2013.

Cary Owsley, 49, was found dead from a gunshot wound on April 7, 2013, in his home in Zephyr Village outside of Columbus that he shared with his wife. The investigation by the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department and Fisher concluded the death was a suicide, prompting Prosecutor Bill Nash to close the case in July 2013.

The suicide determination was challenged by his sister, Cheryl Jackson, who says Bartholomew County officials botched the investigation and lost and mishandled much of the evidence that could prove Cary Owsley was murdered.

The motion to dismiss from county officials alleges Logan Owsley did not have standing to sue and that he failed to state claims on which relief can be granted.

In a court hearing on a motion to correct errors about keeping Lisa Owsley as personal representative in her late husband’s estate, Special Judge Richard Poynter ruled Feb. 10 in Bartholomew Circuit Court that the estate should be closed and that Logan Owsley would keep the federal lawsuit as abandoned property from that estate.

According to Logan Owsley’s attorneys, the ruling gives the plaintiff standing in the federal lawsuit filed April 7 in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

Attorneys for Logan Owsley had sought the extension while waiting for Poynter to issue his formal ruling on the estate, which has now been completed, and to provide time for Loevy and Loevy attorneys, which recently joined his law team, to familiarize themselves with the case, McCain said in his request.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.