This and that: Playing catch-up edition
This and that on a Tuesday morning.
Thanks to the Long Center for the Performing Arts for sponsoring today’s edition. Long Center’s summer series at Loeb Stadium includes: Taylor Swift Laser Dance Party (Thursday, July 27); Air Supply (Friday, July 28), and Scotty McCreery (Thursday, Aug. 17). Tickets on sale now, at www.longpac.org, the Long Center box office at 111 N. Sixth St. or by calling 765-742-5664.
Stop me if you’ve heard some of these before, but I’m still catching up from last week on some of …
THIS AND THAT…
DELPHI MURDER SUSPECT REMAINS WHERE HE IS: Last week, Judge Fran Gull ruled that Richard Allen – a 50-year-old Delphi man accused to murdering teens Abby Williams and Libby German in 2019 – can stay at a state prison in Westville until his trial in January.
Allen’s attorneys argued in June that a safekeeping order issued in November 2022, meant to move him from Carroll County’s small jail, put him in conditions reserved for some of Indiana’s worst convicted felons and leaving them with little opportunity to adequately go over the terabytes of evidence to prepare for a case that has drawn national attention.
In an order issued July 19, Gull rejected the defense arguments, saying that Allen “is treated more favorably than other inmates housed at the Westville Correctional Facility.” Gull wrote that the original safekeeping order, issued by Carroll County Circuit Judge Benjamin Diener, was “reasonable and necessary to ensure the defendant's safety and to prevent serious bodily injury to himself. The Department of Correction has provided, and will continue to provide Defendant with the necessarily medical services, including any mental health services.”
Gull allowed that if Department of Corrections officials found it better to move Allen to another, more appropriate location, they were allowed to do that.
For more coverage from that day in court in June, along with the release of once-sealed documents in the murder case, here are a few pieces:
Allen is scheduled for a three-week trial, starting Jan. 8, on two charges of murder in connection with killing Abby Williams and Libby German, eighth-graders at Delphi Community Middle School, on Feb. 13, 2017, while on the town’s Monon High Bridge Trail.
TEISING CASE, STILL WAITING: Each Monday brings word about which cases, if any, from the previous week the Indiana Supreme Court intends to transfer for full consideration. On this Monday, the court reported “no transfer disposition this week.”
That means no word in the past month about whether the Indiana Supreme Court would consider the state’s request to take on the overturned conviction of Jennifer Teising, the former Wabash Township trustee.
The court heard arguments June 23 over what it means to qualify as a resident when someone is a township trustee. That was the central point in Teising’s initial felony theft charges, conviction in Tippecanoe Superior Court 5 in 2022 and then the reversal from the Indiana Court of Appeals. At issue: Did she abandon her township post when she sold her West Lafayette home and started staying for extended periods outside the township? And if she did, was it theft when she continued to accept a paycheck intended for the township trustee?
At stake for Teising is a sentence, delayed during the appeals process, that would put her in jail for 124 days, community corrections for another 124, followed by more than two more years on probation, in addition to more than $27,000 in restitution.
While everyone waits, here’s how things went during the June 23 hearing at the Indiana Statehouse: “Justices ask: Were criminal charges necessary to oust Teising?”
OPPENHEIMER AT PURDUE: The Purdue Department of Physics and Astronomy had this short thread on social media ahead of last week’s release of the biopic “Oppenheimer.” Seems like Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, was a regular visitor in 1940, with loads of faculty and students involved in nuclear research leaving campus quietly in 1943 in the days of the Manhattan Project. With Purdue’s recent push into national defense research and development, everything old is new again.
HOLCOMB WILL BE PURDUE SUMMER COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER: Purdue is touting summer commencement ceremonies, set for Aug. 5 in Elliott Hall of Music, as a landmark. The day will be the 250th commencement in the university’s history. To mark the occasion, Gov. Eric Holcomb will be the keynote speaker at the second of two graduation sessions, the university announced this week. Expected to graduate in the summer commencement: 1,531 students.
Purdue Exponent reporter Seth Nelson had an update from Tippecanoe Circuit Court on Friday, where the court agreed to wait another 90 days to determine whether Ji Min Sha, a former Purdue student, is competent to stand trial in the October 2022 stabbing death of his roommate, Verun Chheda. Sha has been under treatment at the state hospital in Logansport since April. (This is from that hearing in April: “Judge: Sha incompetent for trial in Purdue dorm room murder.”) The status hearing Friday ended this way: “Ji Min Sha still won't stand trial.”
Indy Star reporter Dana Hunsinger Benbow had a nice piece about Pacers legend Reggie Miller grinding out a century in the Dust Bowl 100 gravel road bike race in Morgan County over the weekend. (His assessment of flat course: “To me that's the worst thing.” Check the story for the punchline to that one.) Here’s a way into Benbow’s report: “Reggie Miller cycled 100 miles in Indiana then talked about Pacers, coaching and being 57.”
Former Purdue center A.J. Hammons was on the spot when a Marion County judge issued a permanent injunction in a civil case involving large parties at his house in tony Geist. Here’s an Indianapolis Star report on what’s up: “Judge sides with Geist neighbors against former Purdue, NBA player's ‘party house.’”
ICYMI, SCENES FROM THE TIPPECANOE COUNTY 4-H FAIR: With the Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair in full swing, I have Lafayette photographer Vincent Walter scouting the fairgrounds to capture some of the scenes at the county fairgrounds. For the first installment, from Monday’s edition, click on the photo below:
IF YOU GO: The Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair continues today the fairgrounds on Teal Road. For hours, ride information and show times, here’s a link to the fair schedule, running today through Saturday, July 29: tippe4hfair.org/2023/schedule/
Thanks, again, to the Long Center for the Performing Arts for sponsorship help with today’s issue. For a rundown of shows at Long Center and Loeb Stadium, go to www.longpac.org.
THANK YOU FOR TWO YEARS OF BASED IN LAFAYETTE, AN INDEPENDENT, LOCAL REPORTING PROJECT. JOIN IN FOR YEAR NO. 3. FREE AND FULL-RIDE SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS ARE READY FOR YOU HERE.