Judge Denies Change Of Venue, Prosecutor For Accused Bomb-Maker
By Mike Perleberg
Bradley C. Back. Photo by Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A Dearborn County judge has denied requests by a Bright man who is accused of making a bomb.
Bradley C. Back allegedly had an explosive go off inside his home on Ledgestone Drive last April. Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens said Back had recently broken up with his girlfriend and the explosive device may have been inside a gift bag when it went off.
Last July, Back’s attorney, Robert Hammerle, had requested a change of venue for his upcoming trial. He argued that prejudicial statements were made by Deddens to the media in the wake of Back’s arrest.
In August, Hammerle asked that the court empanel a test jury. He also requested a special prosecutor be appointed to the case. Deddens was related by marriage to one of the Indiana State Police investigators on the case, he said.
“Ms. Deddens is a very smart lawyer, and she clearly anticipated the consequences of a Facebook posting that combined with a T.V. interview inevitably poison the jury pool. The Defendant should not in any case be told to suffer the consequences,” Hammerle stated in a reply filed September 22.
In responding to Hammerle’s initial motions, Deddens asserted that the statements regarding the gift bag made to the media were a matter of public record. The gift bag issue had been brought up by Deddens during Back’s initial hearing in court, making it public record.
“That information was vital in aiding Judge Cleary, as safety to the community, especially for potential victims, is a key consideration in setting bond,” Deddens wrote.
Hammerle had also taken exception to Facebook posts Deddens had made about the case, stating that they created a bias against Back in Dearborn County, where he could no longer receive a fair trial. Deddens countered that there was no merit to Hammerle’s claim.
“If this were a one-horse town and the townsfolk were so enraged by the accused person’s crimes that they had bothered to mass distribute leaflets or attend the initial hearing with torches and pitchforks, perhaps Defense Counsel’s argument would have merit. But this is not a one-horse town. There were no pitchforks, torches, or leaflets. And, while the hearing was open to the public, it was not attended by the media or said townsfolk,” Deddens said.
After reviewing the attorney’s arguments and the entire case file, Judge Jonathan Cleary denied Back’s motions in an order issued October 2. The judge’s order means Back’s trial will remain in Dearborn County and with Deddens as the prosecutor.
Cleary said he will call additional potential jurors, as well as allow additional voir dire during jury selection, to ensure a fair and impartial jury will be empaneled.
Back, 30, is out of jail after posting a $500,000 surety bond in June. His case is currently set to go to trial on February 12, 2018.