2 Ind. men accused of murder want off home incarceration, plead with judge

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by Sherrell Hubbard

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 7:01 PM

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11)-- Two men arrested for murder as teenagers, were back in court on Wednesday.

 Defense attorney’s for 20 year-old Garreth Stephens and 19 year-old Christopher Jared Sowders pleaded with Judge Vicki Carmichael to remove their clients from the home incarceration program (HIP). 

 Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull contends that the two "are charged with murder.” 

They are charged with killing 47-year-old Steven Baldwin of Sellersburg in March 2013. Back in August they got out on bond.  As terms of the bond agreement they are to wear GPS monitoring devices around the clock. 

 “It's entirely appropriate that they be kept on court supervision while they are out on bond,” Mull said. “They are currently on home incarceration and that's where they need to stay."

 Their attorney’s, Bart Betteau and Perry McCall, filed a motion to modify those home incarceration terms. 

 The defense is asking the court to allow for daily reporting instead.  If granted, they would not have to wear their ankle bracelets, giving them more freedom.

“You've got to remember they're presumed to be innocent, they haven't done anything, nobody has proven anything and in fact they haven't done anything and that's the horrible tragedy of it," Betteau said.

 The cost to maintain an electronic tracking device is between $10 and $15 a day.  The defense said that it is creating a financial hardship. 

“They are innocent and they are kind of continuing to receive a punishment," McCall said.

 The teen’s attorneys said that both defendants would to like to further their education.  Stephens would like permission to fly to Indiana State, where he was a student before he was arrested for murder.  His attorney says he would also like to attend his nephew's tee-ball games.

 The judge is expected to hand down a ruling on the home incarceration within the next few days.  The pair is due back in court next week.  They are currently being tried together, but Stephen’s attorney has filed a motion to separate the cases, so that each defendant will have their own trial.
 

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