Legal steps taken to initiate appeal in Owsley probate case

Attorneys for Logan A. Owsley have filed a notice of appeal with the Indiana Court of Appeals over a ruling in a Marion County probate case involving Owsley’s late father, Cary.

The filing, submitted Friday, is a notice to the appeals court that attorneys representing Logan Owsley plan to file an appeals brief with the court contesting the Nov. 1 dismissal of Cary Owsley’s probate case in Marion County Superior Court.

Steve Art, an attorney with Loevy and Loevy of Chicago, who represents Logan Owsley, said the appeals brief, expected to be filed within the next 60 days, will reference the issues brought out in a motion to correct errors filed Dec. 1 about the probate case.

While the appeal of the state court decision continues, a federal judge has allowed a federal lawsuit filed by Logan A. Owsley against seven Bartholomew County officials to be administratively closed.

In a Jan. 5 ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore said the federal case against the Bartholomew County officials may be reopened at the request of Logan Owsley or the defendants following resolution of a probate court dispute about whether the son of Cary Owsley has standing in the federal case.

The probate court ruling by Marion Superior Court Probate Division Judge Steven R. Eichholtz states that Logan Owsley could not open an estate in Marion County for his father after the estate was closed and assets distributed in Bartholomew County on Feb. 16, 2016.

Attorneys for the Bartholomew County officials being sued in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Logan Owsley are planning to seek dismissal of the federal lawsuit based on the state court ruling which they claim removes his standing as a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit.

Attorneys representing the county are not commenting, citing pending litigation.

The Owsley case has been ongoing since April 7, 2015, when the federal lawsuit was filed two years to the day after the shooting death of Cary Owsley.

The Owsley lawsuit alleges obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice based on discrimination, failure to intervene, hindering access to courts and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the aftermath of the investigation into Cary Owsley’s death, originally ruled a suicide by then-Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher, court documents state.

Logan Owsley filed the lawsuit against then-Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark E. Gorbett; current and former deputies Ernest DeWayne Janes Sr., Dean A. Johnson, Christie L. Nunemaker, Brent E. Worman, William R. Kinman Jr. and Christopher M. Roberts; as well as Fisher.

Cary Owsley, 49, was found dead from a gunshot wound April 7, 2013, in his home in Zephyr Village outside of Columbus that he shared with his wife, Lisa. 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 Cary Owsley’s sister, Cheryl Jackson, who said Bartholomew County officials botched the investigation and lost and mishandled much of the evidence that could prove Cary Owsley was killed.