(06/14/2007)
By Bob Weaver

A pre-trial hearing regarding the criminal case against former Calhoun chief deputy Ron Bandy has been scheduled for June 19th at 10 a.m. before Judge Thomas Evans III in Grantsville.

The hearing, according to court records, is "entered with the consent and approval of defense counsel and the defendant."

Judge Evans denied a request by special prosecutor Jerry Hough to "divert" the case, which would essentially mean the case would be dropped.

Evans expressed discontent with the motion.

A pre-trial diversion would dismiss the case against Bandy after one year, unless new problems arise.

Tuesday's hearing could be to discuss the diversion procedure.

Hough and Bandy's attorney John R. Teare agreed to the diversion, but Judge Evans indicated he wanted the case to go to trial.

Prosecutor Hough gave only brief reasons for his diversion request - the State Police have yet to provide transcripts of witness testimony, problems with the chain of custody of evidence and that some of the evidence was sold.

No other details have been made public, except Hough's statement before Judge Evans.

Deputy Bandy and April McCroskey, his girlfriend at the time, have been indicted on at least seven felony counts each related to the removal of guns and other items from an elderly couples house at Big Springs.

The couple had been placed in a nursing home at the time with Calhoun sheriff Carl Ballengee being appointed conservator.

Evans, expressing concern that prosecutor Hough was not moving the case forward, questioned whose responsibly it is for deciding about a pre-trial diversion. He said parties could submit briefs prior to the trial date.

The judge said he was concerned about the public's interest, that both indicted individuals were government representatives, one a deputy and the other an Adult Protective Worker for DHHR.


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