WARSAW — Arguments why the December trial of Mark Soto should be moved until after that of C. Aaron Rovenstine were heard Friday afternoon, Nov. 4, in Kosciusko Circuit Court. Special Judge Evan Roberts, Elkhart Superior Court 1, heard the arguments from defense and granted the motion.
Roberts will set a March trial date after making adjustments to his court calendar. He ordered prosecution and defense to be prepared to adjust their schedules.
While there have been no filing to join the trials of Soto with Kevin Bronson’s, both trials were set to begin Dec. 13. At this time Bronson’s trial remains set to begin Dec. 13.
Two other motions were heard: motion for discover and motion for in limine regarding character witnesses. Roberts took the in limine motion under advisement and set a deadline for the end of December for discovery.
Scott Lennox, counsel for Soto, argued he had 20 witnesses left yet to receive grand jury testimony from and it would be 30 days before the transcripts were completed. He further stated it would be at most the end of January before he would know who to get depositions from. “I just received the (witness) list yesterday,” Lennox stated. These arguments were the basis of his request to continue the jury trial.
Tammy Napier, chief deputy prosecuting attorney for Marshall County and working with special prosecutor Nelson Chipman, prosecuting attorney for Marshall County, argued they have interviewed witnesses without the grand jury transcripts. Not wanting to duplicate transcripts between that of Rovenstine and this case, Lennox argued he did not have the transcripts, thus how was he to know if there was duplication.
Naper explained there were two separate groups of individuals who testified in the two grand juries, except Warsaw Police Detective Paul Heaton and a witness to Bronson’s activities while incarcerated. “I’d like to review and make my own judgement. Without having all the information in front of me I don’t want to short change my client,” said Lennox.
The prosecution noted they would like to “track” both Soto and Bronson together “if possible,” as there is the same evidence and the activities were all jointly performed.
Soto was indicted by a grand jury and then charged with three counts of corrupt business influence and three counts of intimidation.
Bronson, who was indicted by the same grand jury, has been charged with three counts of corrupt business influence and seven counts of intimidation.