County adds funds for jury trials

With four jury trials already completed this year, Bartholomew County taxpayers are being asked to pay additional money for more jury trials scheduled through the end of the year.

A number of these trials are the the result of long delays necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Prosecutor Josh Scherschel said

Although Scherschel limited his initial request to $10,000, he explained the total additional appropriation required through the end of the year may increase to about $20,000.

Some high-profile cases mentioned by Scherschel tentatively scheduled before the end of the year include:

—Shiam Sunder Shankara Subramanian, 26, charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or catastrophic injury as a Level 4 felony and passing a school bus when the arm signal is extended, a Level 5 felony. The case involves the hit-and-run death of 16-year-old Lily J. Streeval who was struck and killed on Aug. 30, 2021 while crossing the road to get on her school bus. At this time, Subramanian’s trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 12 in Bartholomew Circuit Court. A forensic pathologist’s testimony is expected to cost taxpayers about $3,000, Scherschel said. Another significant expense will be the transcription of more than 30 hours of sworn depositions, he added.

—Jeremy Sweet, 39, is charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in the death of 2-year-old Emma Sweet on Thanksgiving weekend, 2021. The trial is set for Dec. 13 in Bartholomew Superior Court 1. Since Sweet has hired a new defense attorney, Scherschel says the state and defense will be requesting several sworn depositions over the next four months.

—Travis Tuttle, 36, is charged with neglect of a dependent causing death in the March 2021 death of 8-year-old Lealyn Tuttle. His trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 29 in Bartholomew Superior Court 1. A medical expert will be required to testify in both the Tuttle and Sweet cases, which Scherschel estimated will cost $3,000 for each trial.

—Patrick Doyle, 39, is facing murder and other charges in the Aug. 22, 2021 death of girlfriend Heather Ann Steuver. Doyle was originally scheduled to stand trial on July 18, but Judge Kelly Benjamin delayed it due to pre-trial publicity. The prosecution will bring in a chemist from a Pennsylvania lab, where an important piece of evidence dealing with toxicology was sent to be analyzed.

Scherschel’s request for $10,000, made on behalf of county Prosecutor Bill Nash, was approved by the Bartholomew County Council. Another request is expected later this fall.

The deputy prosecutor said funds needed for a large number of trials scheduled after Jan. 1st have already been placed in the department’s 2023 budget.