An April 16 jury trial for three drug-related felony offenses has been scheduled for Thomas W. Gorski, 30, who remains under investigation in connection with the Nov. 25 death of a 19-month-old toddler, Evan Jack McCue of Columbus.
Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Steve Heimann set bond on the drug-related offenses at $10,000 surety, or $1,000 in cash. Gorski responded that he cannot afford to post bond, meaning he’ll continue to be held in the county jail.
“You’ve got a lot more serious charges coming up,” defense attorney Heath Johnson told Gorski in the courtroom just prior to Tuesday’s initial hearing, while explaining to his client the initial charges the suspect would be facing that day.
The Franklin attorney also advised his client that full charges, as well as total bond, will largely depend on what final autopsy results reveal about the child’s death.
Preliminary autopsy results suggest the toddler died of a head injury.
Lead investigator Detective Allan Hayes of the Columbus Police Department said it is not unusual for toxicology tests to hold up the release of autopsy results in these types of cases.
Hayes, who said his investigation into the child’s death remains in “a holding pattern,” said he could not estimate when the results would come back from an independent laboratory.
The current charges against Gorski — possession of a controlled substance, reckless possession of paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance — were filed in the late afternoon hours of Dec. 4.
Without those charges, police would have been forced to release the defendant the following morning.
A probable-cause affidavit stated investigators found what looked like marijuana, a white powder believed to be hydrocodone, pills and a number of drug-related items during a search of Gorski’s home in Candlelight Village.
The small boy’s body was found in that home, where Gorski was living with the child’s mother, 21-year-old Rachel McCue.
The mother had initially called 911 the night of Nov. 25, saying her son was lifeless and didn’t appear to be breathing.
The toddler was pronounced dead later that night at Columbus Regional Hospital.
Once Tuesday’s initial hearing got under way, Gorski appeared calm and respectful as he answered the judge’s questions with quick, concise answers.
A pre-trial conference has been set for March 18, while a tentative plea hearing was scheduled for April 1.