John Silva II is charged with two counts of murder and two counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in connection to Feb. 25, 2019 slaying of two teenagers in Boone Township.
Attorneys for both sides were in court Monday to announce the retrial, and the defendant joined via a call from Porter County Jail.
"Is the identity of a suspect material to a criminal case?" the judge wrote. "Framed that simply, the answer is clearly, 'Yes, the identity of the murderer is material to a murder case.' "
A resolution or new trial date has not yet been determined.
Defense attorney John Cantrell agreed that it was worth the effort to explore alternatives before scheduling another four weeks to retry the case.
The first trial, which lasted for nearly four weeks, ended with a hung jury late last month after two days of deliberations.
Jurors deliberated nearly eight hours into Wednesday night and will return Thursday morning to continue weighing whether John Silva is guilty of aiding in the murder of Molley Lanham and Thomas Grill.
John Silva II has claimed to have no idea Kerner would go on to murder Thomas Grill, 18, of Cedar Lake, and Molley Lanham, 19, of St. John.
"Kaliedoscope" will be performed at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday at The Hoosier Theatre in Whiting.
Porter County Police investigator Jeff Biggs, who responded to that call, told jurors Thursday the bag contained full bottles of muriatic acid and oven cleaner, tarp tape and 13 THC vape cartridges.
"I do not know John Silva," Gerald Dye said. "This is the first time I have ever seen John Silva."
Jurors Thursday were shown a surveillance video of John Silva II and Connor Kerner leaving Valparaiso High School together the morning of Feb. 25, 2019, which was less than two hours before the pair are accused of brutally killing two Lake County teens.
"This is a kid who was trying to graduate and he's scared," John Cantrell said. "He has no connection to the two dead kids."
VALPARAISO — Jury selection begins Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of joining Valparaiso resident Connor Kerner in the 2019 slayings of …
Defense attorney Scott King pounced on testimony from a Porter County sheriff's detective that he and prosecutors had discussed the possibility of charging Roxann Kerner before her son's trial.
Defense attorney Mark Gruenhagen also accused prosecutors of attempting to muddy the waters, which will take the focus off the actual charges facing John Silva, 20, of Hamlet.
Connor Kerner further argues his lengthy sentence is "inappropriate" for a juvenile and that the state appellate courts have revised at least four such sentences for young people.
"The evidence leads to the conclusion that, more likely than not, Defendant's actions were a mediate or immediate cause of death of the victims," Porter Superior Court Judge Mike Fish wrote.
The judge initially denied bond based on evidence from Connor Kerner's trial, at which time John Silva did not have an attorney on hand to challenge evidence and witnesses on his behalf, the motion claims.
The judge described the shooting and beating death of Grill, 18, as "one of the worst I've ever seen" and said 19-year-old Lanham's execution-style shooting was "almost Mafioso."
Roxann Kerner, who is represented by defense attorney Russell Brown Jr., is charged with felony counts of obstruction of justice and perjury, and misdemeanor false informing, according to court documents.
John Silva said he went to the basement of the home and heard Connor Kerner meeting with two people before hearing six gunshots and Kerner yelling, "John, John," police said.
Roxann Kerner will appear before Porter Superior Court Judge-elect Mike Fish, who is replacing Judge Roger Bradford at the start of the new year.
"I don't know how to go on without her," said Stacy Spejewski, mother of Molley Lanham. "I am now the mother of a murdered child."