Local News

February 6, 2013

Causation not issue in trial of Lewis

Former clerk to face jury trial Feb. 12

Whether or not the former Galveston clerk-treasurer actually caused the injury in a hit-and-run will not be an issue considered in trial next week, a judge ruled in Cass Superior Court I Tuesday.

Police say that 46-year-old Christine Lewis was the driver of a car that hit 21-year-old Trey McCulley on Sept. 2, 2011, while he was crossing Ind. 218 near Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Kelly Leeman, Lewis’s attorney, argued that Lewis did not cause McCulley’s broken leg, but Judge Thomas Perrone ruled that the state did not have to prove that Lewis caused the accident, only that she had knowledge of the accident and did not stop.

Lewis faces charges of failure to stop after an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, a class D felony. Her trial is scheduled for Feb. 12.

Perrone also ruled that the Leeman’s expert witness, an Indiana State trooper, could testify about elements of the crash scene.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Leeman argued that the state would have to prove Lewis caused the injury to meet the requirements of the charge. He stated that while Lewis’s vehicle may have come into contact with McCulley, McCulley had already been hit by a car in the first lane of traffic.

“They haven’t even charged a complete crime in this case,” Leeman said.

Leeman drew a diagram on a chalkboard in the courtroom illustrating the police report stating McCulley was hit in the left leg, while Lewis reported a dent on the right side of her car.

“It’s a very significant issue in this court that needs to be resolved,” Leeman said.

Perrone agreed with Cass County Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Gaumer and said that the state did not have to prove Lewis caused the accident, but that she failed to stop and had knowledge of the crash.

“This is not going to be an issue in the trial next week,” Perrone said.

Leeman asked to file an interlocutory appeal, which would send the matter to an appeals court before the trial could begin, on Perrone’s judgement. Perrone said he would not sign the appeal.  

Gaumer was also granted a motion to exclude information on the medications McCulley was taking for autism at the time of the crash. Leeman said he would have used McCulley’s medical history in arguments for causation during the trial.

Interviewed after the hearing, Leeman said he had considered expediting the trial process by waiving the jury in favor of the bench trial. That way, he said they would be able to file an appeal sooner after the case was tried.

But he said he believed the evidence should come before a jury.

“I think we need to talk to the jury, and let them hear the evidence,” Leeman said.

A class D felony carries a possible penalty of six months to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Lewis turned herself in on Sept. 14, 2011, and bonded out later that day.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Boy severely injured in crash out of ICU A boy involved in an all-terrain vehicle crash April 6 has left the intensive care unit and undergone what doctors and his family hope to be his final brain surgery. Kohle Wildrick, 12, a Galveston Elementary sixth-grade student, remains hospitalized

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 25, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 24, 2014

  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

     View Results