EVANSVILLE, Ind.–Two prosecutors are fighting it out in the media in Vanderburgh County, after Terrance Roach was not convicted in the murder of Aleah Beckerle, who was disabled, and who was kidnapped and killed in 2016. Roach confessed and there was DNA evidence.
He got 17 years on a criminal confinement charge.
Former Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Stan Levco says the current prosecutor, Nick Hermann, tried the case too fast and did not question the jury properly.
Both men talked with reporters Thursday.
“I don’t blame the jury for it at all. I blame the prosecution,” said Levco, who’s running for his old job against Hermann. “I’ve tried over 30 murder trials and I’ve never selected a jury and complete opening statements before noon on the first day.”
Levco also said he believes Hermann made a crucial mistake by not calling enough witnesses.
“Even if they don’t have anything to say, it’s a good idea to call them so the jury knows they don’t have anything to say, so the jury doesn’t have to speculate as to what they might say,” said Levco.
Hermann said both he and the defense vetted the jury.
“Those jurors were questioned multiple times,” he said. “The defense attorney questioned the jury. We had already gotten our questions answered. I believe at that point, there were six people. We struck two of them.”
Hermann said he believes Levco is using the situation for political gain, which he said is wrong.
“I think it’s despicable to take the death of a disabled victim and to use that as political football,” said Hermann.
PHOTO: Thinkstock/Seb ra