For murder trial testimony, man gets jailtime break

2013-04-01T14:15:00Z 2013-04-02T11:47:03Z For murder trial testimony, man gets jailtime breakBob Kasarda, (219) 548-4345

VALPARAISO | While Charles Wade was not promised anything for agreeing to testify in February against convicted murderer Dustin McCowan, he was rewarded Monday.

Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford said he considered Wade's cooperation when deciding to suspend seven of the 15 years of prison time Wade was given for a 2010 carjacking.

Bradford also said he had no objection to a request by the defense to allow 29-year-old Wade to continue to be held at the jail in Pulaski County to keep him out of harm's way after cooperating in the Porter County murder case.

Wade pleaded guilty a year ago to felony counts of carjacking and confinement stemming from accusations of abducting his former girlfriend at knifepoint in July 2010 and returned the following day to commit the same offense against the woman and her daughter.

Wade showed up in a different courtroom during the third week of the McCowan murder trial in February to tell jurors how McCowan had told him while they were locked up together he was concerned about police discovering blood and gun powder evidence in connection with the slaying of Portage resident Amanda Bach, 19.

McCowan said he accidentally struck Bach in the nose on the night in question while reaching for her cellphone and some of her blood may have dripped on the carpet of his home, Wade said. McCowan also reportedly told Wade he was getting a sweatshirt for the blood and the sweatshirt may have gun power residue on it from him shooting earlier while wearing it.

Wade said McCowan told him when he realized he still had Bach's cellphone after she left, he discarded it in an abandoned house near where he lived. McCowan said his father later found Bach's phone, Wade said.

McCowan's defense team accused Wade of lying in hopes of easing his sentence in the carjacking and criminal confinement case.

McCowan was sentenced last week to a near-maximum 60 years behind bars for the Sept. 16, 2011 shooting death of Bach, who was his former girlfriend.

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