Grand jury selected for I-64 police shooting
Two men and four women have been seated for the grand jury that will consider whether five police officers committed any crimes in January when they shot a Louisville man accused of stealing meat from a Louisville grocery store, then leading law enforcement officers from several departments on a chase into Harrison County.
Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd said the grand jury was seated last Tuesday. Judge Roger D. Davis excused or struck nine people in the process of selecting the six-member jury and one alternate, a male, Byrd said.
The five police officers are Lt. Roy Wiseman, Officer Kevin Taylor and former Jail Commander Bruce LaHue, all of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept., and Capt. Jim Sadler and Marshal Gary T. Stinson, both of the Corydon Police Dept.
The grand jury will convene either the third week of October or the first week in November, Byrd said.
The list of potential witnesses includes 16 police officers and 16 citizens, mostly persons who were on Interstate 64 when the chase and shooting occurred, Byrd said.
Persons who live out of the area will have their accounts told by police officers, Byrd said.
The prosecutor said he does not intend to call Trent Marion, who was shot by police, to testify before the grand jury for several reasons, including the fact that Marion has failed to answer any questions since the shooting and his failure to give a statement about what transpired on Jan. 20.
‘There are charges pending against him,’ Byrd said. ‘I can’t force him to testify.’
Marion, who was 37 at the time, faces 11 felony counts in Harrison Superior Court of resisting law enforcement and two misdemeanor counts of criminal recklessness.
Police said Marion is accused of shoplifting at a Portland, Ky., Kroger store on that Friday afternoon in January. When police tried to stop him, Marion fled in his Ford Explorer and entered Indiana on I-64, driving at speeds of 80 mph. Initial dispatches indicated the Louisville man was armed, but that proved untrue.
Louisville Metro Police was joined by law enforcement officers from the Floyd County Sheriff’s Dept., New Albany Police Dept. and Indiana State Police, who followed Marion into Harrison County, where his speed escalated to 90 mph.
As they near the Corydon exit, two officers from the Corydon Police Dept. and officers from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. also assisted in trying to stop Marion.
After sustaining a flattened tire from driving over a ‘stop stick’ placed by police, Marion drove into the median near the 103-mile marker. As Marion drove into the median, Sadler fired a shot toward the SUV. Wiseman and LaHue attempted to use their police cruisers to block Marion from reaching the eastbound lanes of I-64.
While Marion was temporarily stopped, Wiseman, LaHue, Taylor and Stinson got out of their cars and approached Marion’s vehicle, showing their weapons and ordering Marion to turn off his SUV and/or show his hands.
When Marion began to ‘rock’ his vehicle, moving towards Taylor, who was behind the SUV, and Wiseman, who was in front, the five officers shot into the Explorer until it stopped.
Marion was injured in both wrists and his right eye, which was surgically removed later.
The Rev. Louis Coleman of Louisville protested, again, outside the Harrison County Justice Center last Wednesday regarding the ‘kangaroo tactics’ of the prosecutor’s office. A flyer he distributed said he is complaining about how Prosecutor Byrd is handling the Marion case which continues ‘to be a disgrace and embarrassment to the judicial system.’
Coleman said Byrd is prosecuting a case in which his peers in the sheriff’s department and the town police department are involved, and that Byrd won’t allow Marion to testify on his own behalf.
‘Police officers have tried to interview Mr. Marion,’ Byrd said, but he ‘failed to answer any questions.’
Coleman has asked Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter to investigate the ‘current actions surrounding case’ and to ‘request that videotapes of the case be shown’ and an overseer be appointed to ‘assure fairness and true justice’ in the case.