Dustin McCowan’s jailhouse friend, McCowan had concerns about what the FBI
lab might find in physical evidence recovered from his home.
McCowan also had
concerns that his fingerprint might be recovered from Amanda Bach’s vehicle.
But McCowan had
no concerns about “the gun,” the jailhouse friend testified on Tuesday.
told his friend that his father, Elliott McCowan, had recovered Bach’s cell
phone from where he had previously concealed it near his home, the jailhouse
friend testified. And McCowan was happy to learn that the McCowan home on
C.R. 625W was being sold, because anything which might subsequently be found
in the house could not “be put on” him.
Charles Wade III
is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to two Class B
felonies, each punishable by a term of six to 20 years: carjacking and
criminal confinement, during the commission of which Wade admitted using a
Prosecuting Attorney Cheryl Polarek’s direct examination, Wade described
how, over a four- to five-month period in the late fall of 2011 and the
early winter of 2012, he and McCowan became fast friends while incarcerated
in the same pod of the Porter County Jail. Over that period, he and McCowan
had “a couple” of lengthy conversations about McCowan’s case, Wade stated,
although Wade also said that at no time did he see any of McCowan’s
“paperwork”—the probable cause affidavit or police reports—nor did he ever
read any newspaper accounts of the investigation.
as well that he became close to other members of McCowan’s family, including
his father, Elliott McCowan.
Why did Wade
agree to testify in this case? Polarek asked.
replied, he learned that he was being investigated for allegedly extorting
commissary items from McCowan. “I wanted to clear my name,” he said.
Wade gave this
account on the stand of what, he said, McCowan told him:
•Bach went to
his house late on the night of Thursday, Sept. 15, to tell McCowan that her
father would no longer let her to talk to him.
•Bach spent much
of that time texting other people and, Wade quoted McCowan, “that would
really piss me off.”
grabbed Bach’s cell phone and in the process accidentally hit her in the
nose, causing her to bleed on the carpet.
a sweatshirt to wipe up the blood. Earlier in the day, Wade said he recalled
McCowan saying, McCowan had been wearing that sweatshirt while “shooting”
and he was now fearful that both his DNA and gunshot residue would be found
on it. Wade also testified that a “gun” had been wrapped in the sweatshirt
or near it.
•At that point
Bach told McCowan that she wanted to leave, he pleaded with her to stay and
talk, and it’s “possibly” that exchange, Wade said, which McCowan believes
Linda Phillips may have heard.
Bach then went “for a ride,” with McCowan driving, and Wade testified that
McCowan said he was afraid that investigators might recover his fingerprint
from her car.
was “walking back” and realized that he still had Bach’s cell phone, so he
hid it in a spot near his home “where they used to smoke,” Wade testified.
While the two were in jail together, McCowan returned from a “pastor visit”
at which he learned “his dad had found the phone,” Wade said.
•Wade did say
that he specifically asked about “the gun.” McCowan’s response, according to
Wade; “I ain’t worried about that gun. That gun is done for.”
also pleased to learn that the McCowan home was up for sale, because that
meant that “anything they found in the house they can’t put on me,” Wade
said he recalled McCowan saying.
promised anything by the prosecutors for his testimony? Polarek asked.
Wade said that
he was promised nothing.
attorney Nick Barnes’ cross examination, Wade said that his sentencing has
been delayed at least seven times since March 2012 and that the prosecutor
handling his case is Chief Prosecuting Attorney Matt Frost, who is also
testified that, on one occasion, when McCowan was placed “in the hole for 24
hours” for some infraction, McCowan trusted Wade with his personal
belongings, which included the probable cause affidavit in his case. Did you
look through McCowan’s belongings? Barnes asked.
Wade said that
Why didn’t Wade
mention in his deposition to the defense—taken in January 2013—that McCowan
told him he was driving Bach’s car? That McCowan told him his father had
found Bach’s cell phone? That McCowan was happy to hear that the home was up
“I was getting
confused,” Wade responded. “I was trying to tell you everything.”