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The Bartholomew County prosecutor has added two felony child-neglect charges and a pair of felony drug charges against 31-year-old Thomas W. Gorski.
The Columbus man already faces an Oct. 22 trial date in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 19-month-old son last year.
Gorski and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Rachel McCue of Columbus, were both arrested and charged in June following a Columbus Police Department probe of toddler Evan Jack McCue’s death on the night of Nov. 25, 2012.
Columbus police and paramedics rushed to the home Gorski and McCue shared in the Candlelight Village trailer park at 8:24 p.m. after the mother dialed 911 and told authorities her son was lifeless and didn’t appear to be breathing.
The toddler was pronounced dead later that night at Columbus Regional Hospital. Initial autopsy results cited a head injury as a possible cause.
For the past few months, Gorski and McCue have been in county jail, awaiting trial, and they’ll be in Bartholomew County Circuit Court at 4 p.m. today for a pretrial hearing.
They each face an identical pair of charges in connection with the 19-month-old’s death — one Class A felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and a Class C felony, neglect of a dependent. The Class A felony carries a sentence of 20 to 50 years in jail; and a Class C felony adds two to eight years.
McCue has an Oct. 22 trial date scheduled at this point — the same day as her boyfriend’s trial.
But McCue’s lawyer, Christopher Clerc, has filed a motion with Circuit Judge Stephen Heimann seeking a 90-day delay in her trial because of the volume of material and evidence he has to review to prepare a defense.
Court filings indicate that potential evidence at trial could include more than 1,200 pages of documents, toxicology reports, medical records, an 86-person list of potential witnesses and other materials.
Prosecutor Bill Nash said Friday that he typically accepts a defense lawyer’s contention that more time is needed, and he’s unlikely to oppose the request for a delay. Heimann could decide the issue as early as Monday’s hearing.
Meanwhile, Gorski’s lawyer, Aaron Edwards, said in a court motion that he wants McCue and Gorski tried separately to safeguard his client’s rights, and he wants the additional child-neglect and drug-related counts Gorski now faces to be legally severed and handled separately from the Evan Jack McCue death case.
Nash said in an email to The Republic that he always intended to bring McCue and Gorski to trial separately.
“I never had any intention of attempting to join them for trial, due to limitations imposed by the rules of evidence as they would apply in this case. I really do not know why Mr. Edwards assumed that the cases had been joined for trial,” Nash said.
The latest child-neglect and drug-related charges were lodged only against Gorski in Bartholomew Circuit Court this month. No extra counts have been filed against McCue.
Two of the counts cite his alleged treatment during 2011 and 2012 of two other children — a 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter — from his relationship with and marriage to Laura Geilker Gorski.
According to Bartholomew County Superior Court records, the 30-year-old woman has since filed for divorce from Thomas Gorski, and a final hearing in those proceedings is scheduled to take place late next month.
Court filings by the prosecutor’s office allege that Thomas Gorski knowingly or intentionally put his 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter in a situation that endangered their health and lives.
Each criminal count also cites Indiana law prohibiting “the delivery of a narcotic drug,” but offers no other precise details of what may have transpired.
The two drug charges filed in court against Thomas Gorski in the past week include a Class B felony for attempted dealing of a narcotic drug and another Class B felony for dealing a narcotic drug. Class B felonies carry six- to 20-year jail sentences.
Columbus police say that the Gorski-McCue home was filled with frequent drug use involving painkillers, marijuana and other controlled
Circuit Court filings show the new drug charges are linked to the alleged delivery of hydrocodone painkillers to a customer Nov. 9-10; and alleged negotiations between Thomas Gorski and another customer Nov. 24-25 to swap a supply of the strong painkiller Fentanyl for some marijuana.
Police investigators have said Thomas Gorski’s Facebook account had numerous postings the night of Nov. 24 into daylight hours of Nov. 25, suggesting he was trying to sell drugs out of his home while watching 19-month-old Evan.
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