SOUTH BEND | A man charged with murdering his wife is suing LaPorte County authorities on allegations they eavesdropped on a private conversation with his attorney and conspired to hold back evidence that shows he's innocent.
The lawsuit was filed late last week in U.S. District Court in South Bend on behalf of John Larkin of Long Beach.
His attorney, Gregory Kulis, of Chicago, said monetary damages are being sought on allegations that include violations of federal and state wiretap statutes and conspiracy amongst investigators to conceal or "play down" evidence gathered from the recorded conversations that would show his client is not guilty.
"Whatever a jury determines is what he's entitled to," Kulis said.
Larkin is charged with murder for the shooting death of his wife, Stacy, inside the couple's home in September of 2012.
Larkin was arrested just hours after the shooting and two days later agreed to be interviewed by police while in the presence of his attorney.
During a break in the interviews, the lawsuit alleges Larkin and his attorney were alone in the interview room having a private conversation they did not know was being recorded.
The lawsuit also alleges the recording was listened to by several members of the Long Beach and Michigan City Police Departments along with LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi and his chief deputy, Robert Neary, a violation of attorney-client privileges.
Kulis said investigators in this case admitted to eavesdropping and noted that in 2013 there were eavesdropping allegations leveled against the prosecutor's office and police officers in Michigan City involving another murder case.
"They obviously have a practice of doing that," Kulis said.
Szilagyi would not respond to the allegations from Larkin because of the lawsuit still pending.
Larkin is claiming self defense.
The lawsuit acknowledges there was an incident leading up to the shooting death but there was clear evidence prior to his arrest that Larkin's wife was the aggressor, physically attacked her husband and went to retrieve a gun.
There's also evidence that Stacy Larkin was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and she had psychological and emotional problems and previously attempted to commit suicide, according to the lawsuit.
The case against John Larkin is still awaiting trial.
Damages are being sought from the town of Long Beach, the city of Michigan City and LaPorte County government.