Chesterton Tribune

List of potential witnesses in McCowan murder trial released

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Roughly one-third of the 148 persons whom prosecutors could potentially call to testify at Dustin McCowan’s murder trial—currently scheduled for Aug. 13—are law enforcement personnel.

Slightly less than a third are residents of Union Township, where McCowan resides.

The witness list filed last week by the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office gives no indication at all of the substance of the potential witness’ testimony, of their role in the investigation, or of their relationship either to McCowan or to the woman he has been accused of killing, Portage resident Amanda Bach.

A breakdown of the list shows that 50 of the 148 potential witnesses are law enforcement personnel:

•Twenty-four with the Porter County Sheriff’s Police.

•Five with the Valparaiso Police Department.

•Eleven with the Indiana University Bloomington Police Department, which took McCowan into custody on the day Bach’s body was found, Sept. 17, 2011, 36 hours after she went missing.

•Three with the Indiana State Police.

•Five with the FBI Laboratory at Quantico, Va.

•Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris.

•John Cavanaugh, M.D., with the Marion County Coroner’s Office, who performed the autopsy on Bach.

The remaining 98 persons on the witness list would appear to be among the 150 or so who investigators interviewed in the weeks and months after the murder, many of them friends and acquaintances of McCowan and Bach, as PCSP Det. Com. Jeff Biggs testified at McCowan’s bond hearing in November 2011.

•Forty-three persons with listed addresses in Union Township.

•Fifteen persons who reside in Portage.

•Twenty-two persons from North Porter County, including Chesterton, Jackson Township, South Haven, and Valparaiso.

•Five from Porter Township.

•And 13 with listed addresses outside of Porter County, including Hobart, Cedar Lake, Demotte, Lake Station, Griffith, Michigan City, and Peotone, Ill.

A final pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Friday, July 13, before Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa. At a hearing last month, McCowan’s attorney, John Vouga—citing both his newness to the case and the voluminous amount of discovery materials made by the state—indicated that he might be seeking a continuance.

Alex declined at the time to consider a continuance but did instruct Vouga to keep the court apprised of his progress.

McCowan is accused of shooting Bach to death sometime in the morning of Sept. 16, 2011. Bach’s body was found on Saturday, Sept. 17, in some bushes south of the Canadian National railroad right-of-way near McCowan’s home in Union Township.

McCowan told investigators that Bach had been visiting him and left his home around 1:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16. Her abandoned car was discovered with a flat tire at Dean’s General Store on Ind. 130 around 3:23 a.m.

An autopsy determined that Bach had been killed by a single gunshot wound to the throat.

 

Posted 7/13/2012