VALPARAISO | A 19-year-old Union Township man accused of killing his former girlfriend last year will not face a jury in August as was expected.
Friday morning, a vocally reluctant Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa agreed to give Dustin McCowan's legal team more time to prepare its defense.
McCowan is accused of murdering former girlfriend Amanda Bach, 19, who was found shot to death Sept. 17 about 300 yards from McCowan's Union Township home.
In looking over a motion to continue, Alexa questioned whether McCowan's attorneys took to heart his June request for a timely trial.
"You didn't take seriously my last admonition?" Alexa asked.
Attorney John Vouga said the additional time will allow him and co-counsel Nick Barnes to provide an "aggressive" defense for their client and said the added time also will help in properly deposing witnesses, though he questioned a recently released list of 148 prosecution witnesses.
"Obviously in a murder trial, there is a possibility we may have to depose all those witnesses," Vouga said.
In addition to the continuance request, the defense also filed additional motions Friday.
Among them, Barnes said, the defense is seeking to suppress the prosecution's dog-tracking evidence and looking to have firearms confiscated from the McCowan family home returned to the defendant's father.
Defense attorneys have filed a motion to have the Porter County Sheriff's Department produce 19 police report supplements they say they haven't received. They're also filing for a change of venue, which, if successful, could either see the location of the trial moved to a different county, or an outside jury brought in to hear the case.
Vouga said the defense also presented a short list of possible witnesses, consisting of McCowan's father and stepmother, a cellphone technology expert and an entomologist, a scientist who studies insects.
Alexa agreed to hear all the defense's motions Aug. 16, at which time a new trial date is likely to be set.
Vouga told the judge he believes he can have his client's defense ready in November.