Jamal Barnes' accused murder gets retrial in Muncie IN
FREE PRESS REPORT
MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Despite defense counsel efforts, a Delaware County judge will retry the murder case again Terrace Douglass accused of killing Jamal Barnes.
That trial begins Aug. 18 after Delaware Circuit Court 3 Judge Linda Ralu Wolf heard arguments Monday that Douglass was denied a speedy trial and that media coverage of the cases could taint a local jury.
Robert Beymer, chief public defender in Jay County, filed to dismiss the case because Douglass had been incarcerated too long and was denied the right to a speedy trial.
Douglass was jailed in 2012 after the killing, and was held until the trial in January that was declared a mistrial because past counsel said they had a conflict. Douglass continued to be held in a state correctional facility until Beymer was appointed counsel last spring.
Zack Craig, deputy prosecutor, argued that Douglass was held on a previous drug conviction and not the murder charge.
And the judge agreed that not enough time had passed since the first trial to deny Douglass's right to a speedy trial.
Joelle Freiburger, Beymer's partner, also argued that past publicity denied Douglass's right to a fair trial, adding local newspapers routinely reported other criminal charges facing a defendant besides the current offense.
Trial rules prohibit previous criminal offenses made part of evidence in a pending case.
But Wolf denied the motion, saying only one recent account of Douglass's case appeared and other reports were prior to the last trial. The judge also rejected a test jury to determine whether an impartial group could be found.
More evidence that possibly someone else actually killed Barnes was allowed by the court.
Defense counsel argued that Alonzo Williams admitted to shooting Barnes and several witnesses heard that confession.
Police investigated those reports, but remained convinced that Douglass was the shooter.. One of those witnesses will be returned from state corrections and available to testify at the trial.
Police used a confidential informant to find probable cause that Douglass was the killer. Douglass and another man allegedly robbed another victim and the informant said he witnessed Douglass shooting Barnes.
Douglass denied participating in the robbery and said he was nowhere near the crime scene.