LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A routine pre-trial hearing Wednesday gave a glimpse into next month’s trial of accused murderer Darius Printup.
Prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday to limit what Printup’s jurors do and do not hear during his trial next month in Tippecanoe Superior 2.
Most of the motion was routine, but some of the discussions in open court suggested part of the defense’s plans.
“There’s not going to be any issue that the victim was shot. The only issue is whether he did it,” Printup’s attorney, Mike Troemel, said during Wednesday’s hearing in preparation for the July 10 trial.
Printup is accused of killing Kristi Redmon on her front stoop the night of Oct. 12.
He faces charges of murder, pointing a firearm and carrying a handgun without a license. A fourth charge, which would enhance Printup’s prison sentence if he’s convicted, will be conducted after the first part of the trial if jurors convict him.
Troemel suggested one of the prosecution’s witnesses might know more than he’s told police. Initially, the witness told police he knew “nothing about nothing,” Troemel said, but after several hours in a holding cell, the witness suddenly knew specifics. Troemel suggested that he doubts this witness’ story.
Troemel wants to play the audio recording of this witness’ interview with police, but Tippecanoe Superior 2 Judge Steve Meyer indicated he’s not inclined to allow that unless Troemel needs to prove the witness made earlier statements that contradict his courtroom testimony. If Meyer does allow the audio to be played, it would only be after a sidebar hearing out of earshot of the jurors, he ruled Wednesday from the bench.
Tippecanoe County Deputy Prosecutor Sarah Wyatt told the court that this witness will only testify as to events that happened earlier in the day on Oct. 12, not about the killing, but Troemel suggested that the witness’ cooperation with police might be an effort to deflect attention away from another person — perhaps the witness himself.
“He’s got 65 years’ worth of reasons to lie about this, and the jury’s entitled to know that,” Troemel said arguing that he should be allowed to ask this particular witness about potential criminal conduct.
Meyers, however, disagreed with Troemel’s assessment, granting prosecutors’ request to block testimony about pending charges or potential criminal activities. Wyatt said this witness does not have charges against him, but Troemel suggested it might be potential criminal activities he’s interested in pursuing during questioning.
If Troemel can build a foundation that the witness is covering for another person, Meyers might allow defense attorneys to raise potential criminal activities of the witness. But as before, permission for this line of questioning would be after a sidebar hearing with the jurors out of the room.
Troemel also hinted that the ballistics expert’s testimony would favor Printup, but didn’t suggest how. That, apparently, he’s saving for trial.
Another witness, that neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys have deposed, turned up in the Arizona prison system. He’s en route to Indiana via a prisoner transport company, but it is not known when he will arrive, Wyatt said.
Reach Journal & Courier reporter Ron Wilkins at 765-420-5231.