[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case -
Dustin McCowan's Appeal
[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case -
Dustin McCowan's Appeal
Dustin McCowan appeal update -
August 20, 2014:
Oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court scheduled for October 23, 2014 at 9:45 A.M.:
[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan's Appeal
Amanda Bach Murder Case:
Amanda Bach [Portage, Indiana]. Murdered by her ex-boyfriend Dustin McCowan [son of Crown Point police officer Joseph Elliott McCowan] - September 16, 2011
Dustin McCowan - Convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison for murdering Amanda Bach [February 2013]
Crown Point Indiana police officer Joseph Elliott McCowan - Investigated for his possible role in hiding key evidence in his son Dustin's murder case.
Dustin McCowan: son of Crown Point Indiana police officer Joseph Elliott McCowan. Convicted in February 2013 of murdering Amanda Bach [Portage IN - September 16, 2011]. Sentenced to 60 years in prison [March 2013].
Immediately following the murder of Amanda Bach the Porter County SD also began investigating Dustin McCowan's father: Officer Joseph Elliot McCowan for his possible role in hiding key evidence [ Amanda's cell phone; the gun; etc] in the murder case against his son / Dustin.
In April 2013 the Porter County SD discontinued its investigation of Officer McCowan.
The sheriff department, prosecutor, and Amanda's parents believe that Officer McCowan played a role in covering up the murder of Amanda.
The Porter County Sheriff Department said the investigation of Officer McCowan could be re-opened if they receive new information in the case.
Dustin McCowan - Release date from prison:
September 17, 2041
McCowan transferred to begin serving 60-year term for murderApril 16, 2013 - 1:00 pm
VALPARAISO - Less than three weeks after being sentenced to 60 years for murdering his former girlfriend, Dustin McCowan has been transferred to the Pendleton Correctional Facility to begin serving his time.
The prison is one of four maximum-level facilities in the state, which are used to house inmates with long sentences, said Douglas Garrison, chief communications officer with the Indiana Department of Correction.
McCowan, 20, is listed on the DOC's online offender search site with a release date of Sept. 17, 2041.
This reflects the earliest date he would be released if his behavior remains good and he earns a day off for each day served, Garrison said. The release date could come even sooner if McCowan shaves more time off by taking part in educational or other programs.
The county's public defender office has been assigned to file an appeal on McCowan's behalf, in an attempt at getting a reduced sentence or having his conviction set aside.
Garrison said legislation is pending before state lawmakers that would increase the amount of time served by giving inmates the opportunity to earn one day off for every three days of good behavior. Any changes would not apply to McCowan.
A jury found McCowan guilty in February of shooting 19-year-old Amanda Bach, of Portage, in the throat during the early morning hours of Sept. 16, 2011, after she showed up at the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father.
Bach's body was found the next day less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.
McCowan, who has maintained his innocence, declined the opportunity to testify during his nearly monthlong trial or to address the court at sentencing, other than saying, "I don't think the court deserves it, your honor."
Day of beauty fund-raiser honors Bach, raises awareness
April 04, 2013 - 8:08 pm
VALPARAISO - Anna McDonald hopes a day of beauty will not only honor the memory of Amanda Bach but also will bring awareness to dating violence and relationship abuse.
"The main theme for this fundraiser is to educate and provide awareness to families and teenagers about the warning signs of relationship abuse and that help is available," said McDonald, a Mary Kay director.
"Quite often, victims of abuse - especially mental and verbal - mistakenly accept the directed behavior as ‘normal’ or ‘no big deal’ because it is coming from someone they trust, maybe even someone they thought that they loved at one time."
Dustin McCowan was recently sentenced to a near-maximum of 60 years in prison for the Sept. 16, 2011, murder of Amanda, who was his former girlfriend.
A presentation based on the "Don’t Look Away/Love is Respect" campaign will be part of the fund-raiser from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday April 20 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 505 Bullseye Lake Road.
"A main informational point of this presentation includes the discussion of an anonymous telephone hotline where victims of abuse can call and receive free advice from peers outside of their social circle. The anonymous hotline provides an avenue of hope to victims, especially teenagers, who are too embarrassed or scared to discuss their concerns with parents," McDonald said.
The event will also include complimentary skin care sessions, a silent auction, raffle and refreshments. There is no cost for the pampering sessions but appointments need to be made by contacting McDonald at (219) 508-8790
All proceeds from the sale of Mary Kay products and the silent auction/raffle and contributions will be donated. Half will go to the church and half will be given to Valparaiso’s The Caring Place, which provides services and shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, per the request of Sandy and Bill Bach in memory of Amanda.
McDonald said she and her husband, Eric, decided to have the fund-raiser to assist Amanda’s parents in continuing to honor their daughter as the Bachs were good friends and neighbors of Eric from 2002-06.
"Amanda and her sister spent a lot of time playing with Eric’s daughter during that time," she said. "Needless to say, it is very hard to comprehend losing a daughter … a vibrant, beautiful young lady with such a bright future and zest for life.
"As parents, all of us are heartbroken and crushed that something this horrific could happen to somebody’s child - especially a friend’s child - and from our local community. It hit close to home because it happened to someone we knew very well, and her life was stolen from her by someone she knew, someone that she trusted."
McDonald said as a Mary Kay director, the day of beauty event was the one way she felt she could help.
"We want to help teenagers realize that any form of abuse, mental or physical, is never OK," she said.
Those who cannot attend, but wish to donate should contact McDonald at (219) 508-8790
For Mary Kay's 50th anniversary, there is a limited edition compact with a Swarovski crystal that is at the center of the "Love is Respect/Don’t Look Away" campaign with $1 from the sale of each compact going to help fund it.
Amanda Bach murder: Dustin McCowan sentenced to 60 years in prison
Thursday, March 28, 2013
WLS- TV Chicago IL
[IN] Amanda Bach murder- Dustin McCowan sentenced to 60 years in prison- Mar 28, 2013
[IN] Amanda Bach murder- Dustin McCowan sentenced to 60 years in prison- Mar 28, 2013
March 28, 2013 (VALPARAISO, Ind.) (WLS) -- Portage, Indiana teen Amanda Bach was found dead about 300 feet from her one-time boyfriend Dustin McCowan's home in September 2011.
On Thursday 20-year-old McCowan received the near-maximum sentence Thursday for the shooting death of Bach. He was convicted for the murder in February 2013.
Before his sentence was handed down, McCowan refused to make a statement to the court.
"I don't think this court deserves it," he said defiantly.
McCowan offered a slight smile in the courtroom just minutes after a Porter County judge sentenced him to 60 years behind bars.
Amanda Bach's mother Sandy Bach took the stand at the sentencing hearing to describe the impact of loss of her daughter at the age of 19.
Though tears, she said, "I will not let you get the best of me Dustin, I will not. You can't even look at me, can you?"
In an unusual argument, prosecutors blamed not only Dustin McCowan but also his family. The judge revealed today an unidentified relative was heard on a prison phone telling him:
"It would be appropriate if the deputy prosecuting attorneys' children were killed so they would know what it's like."
Dustin McCowan's father Elliott McCowan is a Crown Point police officer. The sheriff's office previously said they were looking into whether he helped hide the murder weapon.
Ex-Boyfriend Gets 60 Years in Teen's Murder
Investigators say they continue probe into Dustin McCowan's family
Thursday, Mar 28, 2013
Updated 8:48 PM CDT
NBC News - Chicago, IL
[IN] Ex-Boyfriend Gets 60 Years in Teen's Murder- Mar 28, 2013
Emotions ran high outside an Indiana courtroom Thursday afternoon after Dustin McCowan, the man convicted last month of killing his ex-girlfriend, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
His family vowed to appeal.
"I'm his mother. The fact is, he's innocent and we will appeal," a defiant Jame Tome told reporters outside the Porter County Courthouse.
By contrast, McCowan, 20, was stoic as Judge William Alexa handed down the sentence for his role in the September 2011 shooting death of Amanda Bach. Earlier, he'd declined to make a statement to the court.
I don’t think the court deserves it, your honor," he said.
Amanda Bach's parents said the sentence was bittersweet.
"I guess what we would like would be life without parole. I mean, he doesn't deserve to talk the streets," said Bach's father, William Bach. "He'll be younger than me when he gets out of prison."
Bach's body was found in a wooded area near McCowan's home in Union Township three days after the 19-year-old disappeared.
Despite the conviction and sentencing, investigators say their work in the case isn't over. Prosecutors said they area looking into the possibility that McCowan's family tried to protect him by hiding evidence. It's an allegation McCowan's father, a Crown Point police officer, denies.
"Everybody has their own opinions," Elliot McCowan said as he walked away from the courthouse.
In her remarks, deputy prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said Dustin McCowan is a product of his environment and of those with whom he lives.
Dustin McCowan sentenced to 60 years in murder of Amanda Bach
March 28, 2013 - 6:30 pm
VALPARAISO - Dustin McCowan smiled with jail guards as he was escorted out of the courtroom Thursday afternoon after being sentenced to a near-maximum of 60 years in prison for the Sept. 16, 2011 murder of his former girlfriend Amanda Bach of Portage.
The 20-year-old, who has grown a beard since last month's trial, declined an opportunity to comment before sentencing, saying only, "I don't think the court deserves it your honor."
He was found guilty of shooting 19-year-old Bach in the throat during the early morning hours after she showed up at the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father. Bach's partially clothed body was found the following day less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.
The victim's father, Bill Bach, called the sentence bittersweet, pointing out that McCowan could be Bach's age when released from prison, if he is eligible to cut his terms in half with good behavior and participation in various programs.
"I guess what we would like would be life without parole," he said.
His wife, Sandy Bach, objected to the defense comparing McCowan going to prison to her daughter's death.
"Their loss doesn't compare to our loss," she said.
While the sentencing brought an end to the local stage of the high profile case, which included a nearly month-long trial in February, Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa appointed the public defender's office to begin work on the appeal.
Emotions were high in the packed courtroom Thursday, with a McCowan supporter storming out of the hearing after Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek called members of the McCowan family "dishonest, cowardly and pathetic."
Polarek also referenced a recorded telephone call with McCowan at the jail that the judge later explained included a comment that prosecutors would have to experience the murder of their own children to understand what the McCowans were going through.
"Dustin McCowan is the way he is because of the adults in his life," Polarek said.
County police have revealed that they believe McCowan's father, Elliott McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, may have aided his son in attempting to cover up the murder.
Sandy Bach fueled the emotional atmosphere of the courtroom with a lengthy statement describing the many levels of pain she has suffered as a result of the murder and the challenges she faces without Amanda in her life.
"I will not let you get the best of me, Dustin, I will not," she said repeatedly during the statement. "You don't like hearing that, do you?"
Bill Bach, described the pain he felt watching McCowan plug his ears and look toward the floor whenever photos of his dead daughter were shown and discussed during the trial.
"I will have to leave his fate in the hands of God," he said.
The McCowan family declined comment as they left the courtroom, but defense attorney John Vouga characterized the near-maximum sentence as "a mere formality" that offers more fuel for the appeal that he voiced confidence would result in a reversal and chance for a new trial with an unbiased jury from outside the county.
McCowan's defense team spent much of the trial criticizing the police investigation as inadequate. The defense has raised questions about the involvement of other individuals, including the Wheeler man who helped police locate Bach's body.
Boyfriend Gets 60 Years In Portage Woman’s Murder
March 28, 2013 - 4:58 PM
CBS News - Chicago, IL
[IN] Boyfriend Gets 60 Years In Portage Woman’s Murder- Mar 28, 2013
(CBS) — While family and friends searched for his missing girlfriend, Dustin McCowan partied, according to police. Now, he’ll be spending 60 years in prison for her murder.
The sentence was handed down Thursday afternoon in Valparaiso, Ind.
McCowan, 20, was apparently jealous in his rocky relationship with Amanda Bach, 19, of Portage. Police found her body close to railroad tracks, about 300 yards from McCowan’s home in Wheeler, Ind. in September 2011.
Prosecutors said the bullet in her body matched the ammunition in McCowan’s father’s gun, which was missing.
Bach’s father, William, says the 60-year sentence is not strict enough.
"I guess what we would like is life without parole. I mean, he doesn’t deserve to walk the streets," he told reporters.
McCowan’s lawyers claimed the police investigation was flawed. They also raised questions about the involvement of other people.
Tensions ran high as the McCowan’s father, Elliot, left the Porter County Courthouse. The Crown Point police officer is under investigation, for potentially helping hide evidence in Bach’s murder, according to police.
"Everybody has their own opinions," he said.
Said William Bach, "My gut feeling is he had something to do with it, to help him."
McCowan murder sentencing
Thursday March 27, 2013 - 5:15 pm
VALPARAISO - Thirty days after Dustin McCowan was whisked out of the courtroom after being found guilty of murdering former girlfriend Amanda Bach, he will make a return visit Thursday afternoon to face sentencing.
The 20-year-old faces between 45 and 65 years behind bars.
Security is expected to be as tight Thursday as it was during the trial that lasted much of February before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.
The trial attracted a full house of family members and supporters from both sides, who are expected to return for the 2 p.m. sentencing.
McCowan was convicted Feb. 26 of the Sept. 16, 2011, slaying of 19-year-old Bach, of Portage, whose body was found with a bullet hole through the throat along railroad tracks less than 300 yards from the Union Township home McCowan was living in at the time with his father.
While the mothers of McCowan and Bach cried when the verdict was read, McCowan, who was standing, closed his eyes and then sat down and looked toward the floor.
Amanda Bach's father, Bill Bach, said at the time he is hoping for the maximum sentence, but pointed out McCowan still will be a young man when he’s released.
Defense attorney John Vouga said he plans to appeal.
McCowan's defense team had taken the unusual step of securing the right to attend a standard, court-ordered interview with McCowan that is part of a report used for sentencing.
Vouga said he wanted to be present to protect McCowan's constitutional rights and steer his client away from discussing his version of the events. Vouga said he encourages his clients to direct the probation officer asking this type of question back to the details in the plea agreement or to the facts that came out during a trial.
Porter County Chief Probation Officer Stephen Meyer disagreed with the approach, saying his officers are instructed by state policy to seek out the defendant's version of the crime as part of the job of painting a full picture of the individual for the judge to consider at sentencing.
Meyer said he understood Vouga's desire to limit the information provided by McCowan in preparation for an appeal. The problem, he said, is the presence of an attorney can interfere with defendant sharing information and it is in the defendant's best interest to cooperate.
McCowan's lawyer to sit in interview
March 09, 2013 - 11:35 pm
VALPARAISO - Attorneys for convicted murderer Dustin McCowan have taken the unusual step of securing the right to attend a court-ordered interview with McCowan to be used when he is sentenced March 28.
Defense attorney John Vouga said he or his legal partner, Nicholas Barnes, want to be present to protect McCowan's constitutional rights.
"We encourage them to cooperate," Vouga said of his clients. "The only element that we feel is essential is when a probation officer tries to talk to a defendant about his version of the events."
McCowan, 20, was convicted Feb. 26 of the Sept. 16, 2011, slaying of an ex-girlfriend, Amanda Bach, 19. Bach's body was found with a bullet hole through the throat along railroad tracks less than 300 yards from the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father.
McCowan faces between 45 and 65 years behind bars.
Vouga said he encourages his clients to direct the probation officer asking this type of question back to the details in the plea agreement or to the facts that came out during a trial.
"He doesn't need to get the defendant's version," he said.
Porter County Chief Probation Officer Stephen Meyer disagreed.
Probation officers are instructed by state policy to seek out the defendant's version of the crime as part of the job of painting a full picture of the individual for the judge to consider at sentencing, he said.
The presentence report in question includes all sorts of details of the offender's life, including past criminal history, mental health and any substance abuse.
The report also includes a risk assessment and needs, and a victim's impact statement.
"I don't think an attorney should be sitting in on these interviews," Meyer said.
Meyer said he understands Vouga's desire to limit the information provided by McCowan in preparation for an appeal in the high-profile murder of Bach, a Portage resident.
The problem is the presence of an attorney can interfere with defendant sharing information needed for the presentence report, he said. It is in the defendant's best interest to cooperate.
"This is their chance to present themselves the best they can for the judge," Meyer said.
The interview in question has yet to take place, but will likely last between two and three hours, he said. The entire presentence report is typically 10 pages in length and should be complete by March 21 or 22.
[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan's Appeal
Amanda Bach Murder - Dustin McCowan charged with murder
Amanda Bach Murder Case - Investigation of Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan [Crown Point Indiana PD] - September 2011 - April 2013
Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan Trial and Conviction- Feb 04, 2013http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2013/02/in-amanda-bach-murder-case-dustin.html
Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan Sentenced - March 28, 2013http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2013/03/in-amanda-bach-murder-case-dustin.html
Amanda Bach Murder Case - Videos