HAMMOND | A jury trial for an East Chicago councilman facing federal murder and drug charges has been set for Jan. 19.
Third District Councilman Robert "Coop" Battle's trial before U.S. District Judge Philip Simon is expected to last about two weeks, according to a scheduling order filed Wednesday.
Battle, who was re-elected Nov. 3, pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Battle accused of killing Reimundo Camarillo Jr., 31, of East Chicago, on Oct. 12 to further the sale of cocaine.
A superseding indictment filed last week alleged Battle killed Camarillo while engaged in a conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine between 2006 and Oct. 12, 2015. Battle also is facing a marijuana charge.
The charges stemmed from a Sept. 23 traffic stop in Porter County where police found 73.22 grams of marijuana and $100,700 in cash, according to court records. The superseding indictment says Battle on Sept. 23 possessed with the intent to distribute both suspected marijuana and cocaine.