Amanda Bach’s accused murderer, Dustin McCowan, has been held without bond
at the Porter County Jail since being charged with her death, on Sept. 19.
Now his attorney, Bob Harper, is asking the court to set bond in the case.
In a petition filed on Monday before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa,
Harper argues that the “proof of guilt is not evident nor the presumption of
guilt strong” enough to hold McCowan without bond.
At a hearing on the matter scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, Alexa
will accordingly hear McCowan’s “evidence concerning bond.”
Harper told the Chesterton Tribune after deadline on Thursday that a
defendant being held without bond has the right at any time to petition the
judge “to determine if there’s enough evidence to hold him without bond.”
“The presumption of guilt must be very strong to hold a defendant without
bond,” Harper added.
McCowan, 18, has continually and consistently denied involvement in Bach’s
death, Harper has said.
Bach’s body was found on Sept. 17, two days after she went missing, south of
the Canadian National railroad right-of-way approximately 300 yards from
McCowan’s home on C.R. 625W in Union Township. Bach, 19, a resident of
Portage, was shot once in the throat, the bullet severing a vertebra.
McCowan told investigators that Bach left his home around 1:30 a.m. Sept. 16
after spending two and half hours there playing PSE and watching a movie.
Bach’s abandoned car was found at 3:30 a.m. Sept. 16 in the parking lot of
Dean’s General Store on Ind. 130.
The case against McCowan—as made in the probable cause affidavit—is based on
the statements of persons who came in contact with McCowan in the hours
after Bach’s car was discovered, including that of a juvenile girl who said
that she saw McCowan and his father leave their home around 7 a.m. Sept. 16
and drive north on C.R. 625N, heading in the direction of where Bach’s body
would later be found and also where her car had been abandoned; on the
statement of a neighbor who said she heard a “commotion” in McCowan’s yard
between 1 and 2 a.m. Sept. 16; and on McCowan’s own statements to police,
for instance, that he “didn’t know anything about a commotion in the yard.”
In the days after Bach’s body was discovered, investigators with K-9 units
and metal detectors conducted ground searches along the stretch of road
leading from McCowan’s home to Dean’s General Store. Divers also searched a
pond east of where the body was found. Investigators never publicly said
what evidence they were seeking in particular but presumably it included the
murder weapon and Bach’s missing cell phone. Those searches have since been
Last week Sgt. Larry LaFlower of the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said
that investigators continue to conduct interviews in the case and are
awaiting the results of items sent for testing. But LaFlower declined to say
what evidence has been collected and what tests are being done to it.
Alexa has set trial for Jan. 30.