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Michigan City courthouse stock

Michigan City courthouse

Doug Ross, The Times

MICHIGAN CITY — A jury has begun hearing testimony in a murder case plagued by legal challenges.

Brian Taylor, 24, is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend, Simone Bush, in March 2014 inside her grandparents' home in the 600 block of County Line Road.

The evidence shows Taylor and Bush, 24, lived in Indianapolis, then she moved back to Michigan City, according to the prosecution.

David Thomas, a special prosecutor from Vigo County trying the case, said Taylor shot Bush in her bedroom after he stayed the night.

Nobody in the two-story house knew she was dead until more than two hours had passed, Thomas said.

Several people lived there, but just one resident, Shanell Turner, testified hearing a gunshot she described as sounding too distant for her to get up to investigate.

Darryl Kelley, the victim’s grandfather, testified he thought something got knocked over, then spotted Taylor’s vehicle leaving his property.

Kelley said he assumed Taylor was taking his granddaughter to her new job at a local bakery since her shift was about to begin.

Bush was on the floor, slumped against the bedroom door, when Taylor fled out the bedroom window, Thomas said.

"He did not report her injury or death, not even to members of her family," Thomas said.

Defense attorney Craig Braje said Taylor was in the bedroom, but there’s no proof how the trigger got pulled.

Braje said Taylor, after the shooting, told his mother "something bad happened" and later showed up at the police station with his grandfather.

He had on the same bloody clothing and never tried hiding that he was in the room, Braje said.

"You will not hear one piece of evidence that anyone knows what happened," Braje said.

Several officers and Robert Neary, then the LaPorte County chief deputy prosecutor, overheard through a loudspeaker at the police station part of what should have been confidential talks between Taylor and his attorney.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled evidence gathered from listening to the conversation could not be presented at trial.

In 2017, the high court also suspended Neary’s license to practice law for no less than four years for eavesdropping during this and a Long Beach homicide case in 2012.