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HAMMOND — An East Chicago councilman's trial on federal murder and drug trafficking charges has been postponed until next summer, court records show.

Robert Battle, 42, is now scheduled to face a U.S. District Court jury starting Aug. 8. His trial previously had been set to begin next month.

Battle began working with federal agents after authorities found marijuana and money in his car during a traffic stop Sept. 23 on Interstate 94 in Porter County, defense attorney Jack Friedlander said during a recent court hearing.

Battle agreed to participate in a controlled transaction of money between him and Reimundo Camarillo Jr., an alleged high-ranking member of the Two Six Nation street gang. But Camarillo, 31, of East Chicago, didn't show up for the meeting.

Camarillo allegedly grew suspicious of Battle and confronted the councilman Oct. 12 in the 4200 block of Euclid Avenue in East Chicago. Camarillo ended up dead from a gunshot to the back.

Battle, who was re-elected Nov. 3, claims he shot Camarillo in self-defense after Camarillo threatened him with a knife. Battle is being held without bond.

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Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.