Trial over fatal crash delayed
MICHIGAN CITY — The jury trial for a man charged in a crash that left another man dead, and rerouted the Michigan City High School homecoming parade last year has been postponed.
Timothy Edward Malott, 55, was prepared to face a jury in La Porte Superior Court 1 on June 3, but now must wait until Aug. 12.
Deputy prosecutor Mark Roule said during Malott’s final pre-jury conference on Thursday that two important witnesses will be unavailable to testify in June – La Porte County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Boswell and forensic pathologist Dr. John Feczko.
Roule hopes to conduct depositions via video as early as Tuesday, he said.
Defense attorney Steven Snyder objected to the continuance, saying the state has had ample time to depose witnesses since Malott’s arrest on Oct. 5.
He requested that if the judge were to grant the state a continuance, his client be released from the La Porte County Jail on predispositional probation.
Judge Michael Bergerson declined to waive or decrease Malott’s cash-only bond of $20,000.
And he briefly chastised the state for making the last-minute request, noting court staff has already prepared to have more than 50 La Porte County residents appear for jury selection – something the potential jurors likely had to plan around as well.
But Bergerson ultimately decided Roule’s request was for “good cause” and granted the continuance.
Malott is accused of driving drunk on Oct. 5, and causing the death of 49-year-old Anthony Waters.
His official charges include four felony counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol equivalent of more than the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Two of those counts indicate Malott has a prior OWI conviction.
Michigan City Police say Malott was driving south on Franklin Street just north of Ames Field when he slammed his Ford Focus into Waters’ Toyota Corolla, which was turning north onto Franklin from Skwiat Legion Avenue.
Malott was uninjured in the crash, as was the crowd of spectators who lined Franklin Street awaiting the beginning of the annual homecoming parade.
However, Waters had to be extricated from the wreckage by the Michigan City Fire Department, and was transported to Franciscan Health Michigan City, where he succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.
According to police, Malott refused to submit to drug and alcohol testing, so they were forced to secure a warrant.
He was arrested after they determined his blood alcohol content to have been 0.133 percent.
If convicted at trial, Malott faces up to 36 years in prison.