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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:00 am

Courts

Prosecutor disagrees with request for outside jury

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards is challenging a Fort Wayne woman's request to move her trial or bring in jurors from another county.

Amber Garrett is charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent in the death of her son, Malakai, 2, last year. Citing coverage by media outlets and through social media, she asked a judge to move the trial or have jurors from outside Allen County hear the case.

In her motion, Garrett, 26, also said statements critical of her written in chalk outside the Allen County Courthouse could bias potential jurors. Court documents filed by Richards say the chalk can be cleaned from the property before jurors arrive. The “mere possibility of prejudice” does not warrant moving a trial, documents say.

Mitchell Vanryn, 27, is charged with murder in the case.

Charge against woman dropped

An Allen County judge dismissed a fraud charge against a Fort Wayne woman accused of being part of a crime ring last year.

Melissa Wormbly was charged in July after police said she was with Jason Logan at a Walmart where stolen credit cards were used. The fraud charge against Wormbly was dismissed Jan. 2, according to online court records.

Logan, Christopher Walker and Erick Cocks all pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence. Logan was sentenced to three years with two years suspended; Walker was sentenced to four years with two years suspended; and Cocks was given a three-year suspended sentence. Leah Halbrook pleaded guilty to fraud and was given a 1-year suspended sentence.

Sequestered jury sought for Dansby

Lawyers for a Fort Wayne man facing the death penalty have asked a judge to sequester jurors who will hear the case next year.

Marcus Dansby is charged with killing four people, including his unborn child, in 2016. His trial is set for April 2019.

State law requires the court to sequester a jury in death penalty cases if it's requested by the defendant, according to documents filed Tuesday. The request asks an Allen Superior Court judge to sequester jurors as they are chosen to serve and then as part of the full jury.

mleblanc@jg.net