INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead Wednesday for the LaPorte County prosecutor's office to try John Larkin for voluntary manslaughter in connection with the 2012 shooting death of his wife, Stacey.
Larkin had asked the appellate court to appoint a special prosecutor because several LaPorte County prosecutor's office staff, including Chief Deputy Prosecutor Robert Neary, viewed a secretly-recorded videotape of Larkin's conversation with his attorney filmed during a break in a police interview.
In its 3-0 ruling, the court said it is not appropriate to disqualify the entire LaPorte County prosecutor's office because there is no evidence then-Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi viewed the tape; nor has current Prosecutor John Espar, who was elected in 2014.
At the same time, the court conspicuously noted the LaPorte Superior Court would be within its rights to prohibit Neary, and any other prosecutor's office employee who engaged in "improper interference with an attorney-client relationship," from participating in Larkin's trial.
Larkin is accused of shooting his wife amid a struggle for a gun during a domestic disturbance in the couple's Long Beach home.
Separately, the Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday set oral arguments for Oct. 28 to determine the proper trial sanction for several Michigan City police officers who last year eavesdropped, alongside Neary, on a private conversation between a murder suspect and his attorney.