Prosecutor responds to an impatient Rev. Coleman
Informed that Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd has complete findings from the investigation of the Jan. 20 non-fatal interstate shooting, the Rev. Louis Coleman has filed a request for investigation with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.
Reports from the Indiana State Police began trickling in Feb. 7, and they still haven’t stopped coming, Byrd said yesterday.
Coleman believes that Byrd has the final report and is not acting on it.
In a statement released yesterday, Byrd wrote, ‘This is a serious case and at my request the Indiana State Police conducted the investigation. The Indiana State Police have compiled a great deal of information. The file is about four-and-a-half inches thick and growing.
‘My evaluation will not be complete until I have seen everything. I will not make any decision about the case until I have reviewed everything.
‘I want to stress that this investigation will take as long as necessary to ensure it’s done right. My decisions, as prosecutor, affect people’s lives. I do not take that lightly, and I will not be pressured into making any decision just because it advances someone else’s agenda. Unlike the media and Mr. Coleman, I must take the time necessary and make the effort to have all the real facts to go forward,’ Byrd’s statement read in its entirety.
In his request to the Disciplinary Commission, Coleman wrote that Byrd ‘did not release the completed state troopers investigation after having it for over two weeks.’
The law does not require Byrd to release materials from the investigation, and findings in an ongoing investigation are often withheld.
Marion, 36, of Louisville was pursued through three counties after police attempted to arrest him in Louisville. He suffered gunshot wounds to his wrists and right eye while driving his vehicle in the median of Interstate 64 in Harrison County.
Officers had received misinformation that Marion had committed armed robbery. Police initially attempted to apprehend him in Louisville on suspicion of shoplifting.
Coleman has requested that Byrd remove himself from the case and be replaced by a special prosecutor without Harrison County ties.
Byrd has said that he will decide whether to remove himself after he has all the information.