ELKHART — While a combined jury trial for Kevin Bronson and Mark H. Soto is months away in Elkhart County, various motions by attorneys have been filed with special Judge Evan S. Roberts, Elkhart Superior Court 1. These motions include: an attorney withdrawal and requests to keep the trial in Kosciusko County and have the jury selected from that county.
It was during the April status conference, Roberts indicated the trials would be held in his Elkhart courtroom. This was due to the unknown availability and sizes of a courtroom in Kosciusko County.
At this time the five-day jury trial is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 13. The final date for a final plea bargain acceptance is Dec. 1. There have been no filings requesting separation of the cases.
Bronson Receives New Attorney
Eric E. Kinsman, Bronson’s court appointed attorney, filed a motion seeking withdrawal of appearance and requested a hearing. The motion was filed May 2. In that motion Kinsman stated March 22, he was appointed to represent Bronson. “After receiving the state’s first submission of discovery and meeting with the defendant on multiple occasions at the Elkhart County Jail, counsel advises the court that he does not possess sufficient time and resources necessary to adequately defend Bronson … .”
A hearing was held Monday, May 9. Roberts granted Kinsman’s motion to withdraw. He immediately appointed Chief Public Defender Cliff Williams and Public Defender Peter Todd.
Proper Jury Venire Filed
Scott Lennox, attorney for Soto, filed May 2 a motion for determination of proper jury venire (make up of the jury). Roberts has taken the matter under consideration.
The motion states the court “has indicated that the trial will occur in the courtroom of Elkhart Superior Court No. 1, located in Elkhart” and “counsel does not object to the location” but believes “the proper venue is Kosciusko County and that any jury venire should consist of Kosciusko County residents.”
Additionally, Special Prosecuting Attorney E. Nelson Chipman Jr., Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office, filed a notice of intent to file habitual offender allegation against Bronson. However, Roberts noted the court deemed the filing “as duplicative of the documents tendered in open court April 15.