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> Jennifer Evans found "not guilty" in her case
Tom Burns
post Dec 24 2008, 07:16 AM
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Investigation underway, few details. We are updating report as more becomes available.
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Southsider2k12
post Dec 24 2008, 07:47 AM
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Wow. We are praying she is OK!
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Tom Burns
post Dec 24 2008, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE(southsider2k7 @ Dec 24 2008, 07:47 AM) *

Wow. We are praying she is OK!


She is apparently out of danger. We kept hearing about this including from CitybytheLake folk but it was difficult to get confirmation and we did not want to be premature.
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JHeath
post Dec 24 2008, 09:24 AM
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Oh my...my thoughts are with her.
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eric.hanke
post Dec 24 2008, 09:47 AM
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From WSBT - http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/36668169.html



QUOTE


LAPORTE — A deputy LaPorte County prosecutor who has worked on some of the county's biggest trials was shot early Tuesday morning.

County Prosecutor Robert Beckman confirmed to WSBT News that Jennifer Evans was shot in her home.

Beckman would not release any other information, saying only Evans' injuries are not life threatening.

Evans is married, but Beckman would not say whether her husband was home at the time of the shooting.

Evans worked on the Richard Dobeski child pornography case and helped prosecute the Kathy Phillips murder trial.

In November, she was elected to be the judge of Superior Court 3.




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Southsider2k12
post Dec 24 2008, 03:27 PM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...ArticleID=19884

QUOTE
Husband says wife's shooting accidental
Deputy Prosecutor Evans grazed in head
LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) - A LaPorte County deputy prosecutor who was elected as a judge last month accidentally shot herself while handling a gun she didn't think was loaded, her husband said.

Jennifer Evans, 34, was grazed in the head by the shot late Monday at her home, her husband, Stephan, told WNDU-TV on Wednesday. She remained hospitalized, but was expected to return home soon, he said.

LaPorte city police referred all questions about the shooting to county Prosecutor Rob Beckman. A message seeking comment was left Wednesday at Beckman's office by The Associated Press.

On Tuesday, Beckman would only disclose that Evans had been shot and that her injuries were not life-threatening. He declined to give any additional details.

Evans was elected in November as a Superior Court judge in the county just west of South Bend after handling many of the county's highest-profile cases in recent years.

In the past year, she prosecuted a woman who was acquitted of murder and neglect charges in the death of a newborn girl whose body was found in a field near her home.

She also prosecuted a man sentenced to 11 years in prison for molesting a 7-year-old boy and for possession of child pornography. That man had previously spent almost 40 years in prison for murdering two young children.

Evans has been a deputy prosecutor since graduating from Valparaiso University law school in 1999. She has also been the city attorney for Michigan City and had a private law practice dealing with non-criminal matters.

An announcement of her candidacy said Evans and her husband have two children.
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Dave
post Dec 24 2008, 05:01 PM
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I'm glad to hear she's going to fully recover.

That said, however, I have to wonder about a loaded firearm being in a house with two young children. To me that seems like a recipe for unpleasantness, seeing as an adult (who I would presume has a gun due to her holding office as a deputy prosecutor, for use as a personal defense weapon, and should presumably has had some gun safety training) managed to injure herself with it.

This post has been edited by Dave: Dec 24 2008, 05:01 PM
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Dave
post Dec 25 2008, 06:08 PM
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http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/36707259.html

QUOTE


Questions still unanswered in deputy prosecutor shooting

by Sarah Rice (srice@wsbt.com)

LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Evans. (Photo provided)
By WSBT News1

Story Created: Dec 24, 2008 at 5:53 PM EST

Story Updated: Dec 25, 2008 at 2:08 PM EST

LAPORTE COUNTY — Police say LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Evans was injured in her home after a bullet grazed the top of her head.

The county prosecutor would not say whether her husband was home at the time of the shooting, and officials are keeping very quiet about the case.

Even public information about the shooting is being withheld. It's frustrating for both the media and neighbors.

"I would like to know what really happened," said neighbor Dorothy Sadler.

"How did it happen? I mean what happened?" asked Donna Rudnick, also a neighbor to Evans. “It just does not make any sense to me, because I know both of them and they are just lovely people."

Prosecutor Robert Beckman would only say her injuries are not life-threatening. On Wednesday morning WSBT went to Beckman's office to get more information, but didn't get very far.

Even a public document, like the case report, was not available. Officials with the LaPorte Police Department say the prosecutor's office is keeping the information private.

With so many unknowns, Rudnick admits she's a bit uneasy.

"But I noticed last night, lying in bed, I kind of was listening and heard some noises,” she said. “And I thought ‘Okay, you're being paranoid.’"

As for Sadler —

"I'm just glad she's going to be okay,”

WSBT went to Evans' home, but no one answered the door. Police say the community's safety is not at risk.

In November, Evans was elected to be the judge of Superior Court 3.

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Southsider2k12
post Dec 29 2008, 07:41 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...amp;TM=31396.43

QUOTE
Too much undisclosed in shooting case

Dave Hawk
The News-Dispatch

La Porte County Prosector Rob Beckman must like to see rumors fly about his staff. Otherwise, it's hard to understand why he didn't see to it that more of the facts surrounding the shooting of Jennifer Evans were released to the public after the incident Monday night.

Evans, a deputy prosecutor who was elected judge of Superior Court 3 on Nov. 4, was struck by a bullet fired from a gun inside her home in La Porte.

La Porte police first told reporters they weren't investigating and there was no report, and they referred questions to Beckman. Slowly a few details came out, but even at the end of the week Friday, many questions remained about how this very public figure sustained a graze wound to her head.

This has left the public wondering what really happened, and rumors and speculation have been circulating. Rumors aren't fair to anyone, including Jennifer Evans and her husband, Stephan Koethe, and the best antidote is making all the facts available to the public. Beckman, as an officeholder, can interpret his role the way he likes, and he often chooses to say virtually nothing about investigations.

Other prosecutors in other counties see things differently, and the ones who keep the public informed on a timely basis don't seem to have problems with their cases being undermined or jeopardized because of too much publicity.

Beckman should have directed the police to release the details, which under law includes making public "the substance" of an incident. Yes, the law is vague and subject to interpretation. But not being forthcoming won't make the questions go away.

Openness isn't just to satisfy the public's curiosity. The Indiana Open Records statute says, "It is the public policy of the state that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees."

That's important to preserving open an honest government.

Beckman seems to be taking extra care to protect his deputy prosecutor, Evans, from public disclosure of all the facts. It's understandable that someone would want to help a friend.

But that raises an other question about potential conflict of interest. In this situation, it would have been better if Beckman had recused himself and invited an independent prosecutor to work with police in this investigation.

Unfortunately at this point the rumors are still flying.

Dave Hawk is managing editor. He can be reached at 874-7211, Ext. 443, or dhawk@thenewsdispatch.com
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Roger Kaputnik
post Dec 29 2008, 09:33 AM
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QUOTE(southsider2k7 @ Dec 29 2008, 07:41 AM) *



Mr. Hawk,

Mme. Evans was not engaged in the affairs or acts of government; and as she was not, there is no inherent right of people to know the details of the story.

That being said, I am rather curious, even nosy, enough to want to know how this occurred.

I would further note that it appears that Evans and her current husband violated the first rule of safety with firearms, viz., to treat each one as if loaded and ready to fire.

As a last point, seeing as her noggin did not stop the bullet, one wonders where it went?

As ever,

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Dave
post Dec 29 2008, 03:43 PM
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Roger, I think an argument could be made that because this situation involved the police and a shooting that the police records should be available, i.e. on the basis that the people "engaged in the affairs or acts of the government" were the police officers who went out on the call, rather than Mme. Evans.

To tell the truth, I'm not prefectly clear on how available police records are. If I'm in a fender bender I can easily enough get a copy of a police report for my insurance company, but could someone unrelated to the event do the same? I have no idea.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Dec 29 2008, 04:33 PM
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While I cannot admit to extensive experience, the few times I have needed a report from the po-po I had to show that I was the person mentioned or a minor child of mine was. I had the feeling that the records are not public and open.

Mr. Hawk cited sunshine rules to say that the details should be published or available to be published. That is what prompted my response.


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lovethiscity
post Dec 29 2008, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE(Roger Kaputnik @ Dec 29 2008, 04:33 PM) *

While I cannot admit to extensive experience, the few times I have needed a report from the po-po I had to show that I was the person mentioned or a minor child of mine was. I had the feeling that the records are not public and open.

Mr. Hawk cited sunshine rules to say that the details should be published or available to be published. That is what prompted my response.

Funny, If the Judge's name was Winski? Dave Hawk would have no trouble getting the information and then some.
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JHeath
post Dec 29 2008, 10:28 PM
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QUOTE(lovethiscity @ Dec 29 2008, 09:30 PM) *

Funny, If the Judge's name was Winski? Dave Hawk would have no trouble getting the information and then some.

Ouch. laugh.gif
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mox1981
post Dec 30 2008, 01:28 AM
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http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/36864914.html

QUOTE
St. Joe County prosecutor will investigate accidental shooting of LaPorte judge
Posted: 12:06 AM Dec 30, 2008
Last Updated: 12:06 AM Dec 30, 2008

A week ago, newly-elected LaPorte County Judge Jennifer Evans was involved in an accidental shooting.

On Monday night, we learned that the case is being turned over to a special prosecutor in St. Joe County.

LaPorte County Prosecutor Robert Beckman told NewsCenter 16 that it is policy to not investigate anyone else in the office.

The investigation will continue through the St. Joe County Prosecutor's Office.


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Southsider2k12
post Dec 30 2008, 06:53 AM
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QUOTE(mox1981 @ Dec 30 2008, 01:28 AM) *


See how easy it is to recuse yourself where there is conflict of interest? There are some other lawyers in LPC who should be taking notes.
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Southsider2k12
post Dec 31 2008, 10:25 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...ArticleID=19978

QUOTE
A transcript of the 911 recordings in the Jennifer Evans shooting
KOETHE CALLING E911

E911: 911.

STEPHEN KOETHE: Yes, I need an ambulance immediately at 18 Victoria Circle.

E911: OK, what's going on.

KOETHE: We have a gunshot wound ... accidental ... in the household.

E911: OK, how old.

KOETHE: Uh, Uh, Uh 34.

E911: Conscious and breathing?

KOETHE: Uh, she's breathing.

E911: Where was she shot at?

KOETHE: Uh, looks like the head. She's bleeding. Oh, there's a lot of blood.

E911: OK, I'm getting everybody out.

KOETHE: Oh my God. Thank you.

E911: You're welcome.

(Koethe hangs up)

E911 CALLS KOETHE BACK

KOETHE: Hello.

E911: Hi this is 911.

KOETHE: Yes.

E911: How is she doing?

KOETHE: Um, we need help.

E911: I've got them all coming.

KOETHE: OK.

E911: Where's the weapon at?

KOETHE: Um, uh, we don't know, right now it's, it's, it wasn't in here. It was our weapon.

E911: OK.

KOETHE: It, it's in the house. It's, it's all good. We had the baby sitter earlier, we put all the weapons away and we were putting them back out to protect ourselves and, and, and it, it fired. There, there's no problem with the police.

E911: OK, so you don't know where the weapon's at in the house, though?

KOETHE: No, there are weapons in the house but the police have to get here.

E911: We've got, everybody's coming.

KOETHE: OK.

E911: I've got everybody coming, I just ...

KOETHE: Alright, alright.

E911: ... that's why I need to make sure, you know ...

KOETHE: Yes.

E911: And is she still breathing?

KOETHE: Yes.

E911: OK.

KOETHE: OK.

E911: That's why I just want to check on you, make sure. But I do have fire and medics and everybody else coming. OK?

KOETHE: Yes, please. Yes.

E911: OK, is it just you guys home alone with the kids?

KOETHE: No we have two children in the house and a dog. OK. And, and the dog is going to get wild right now.

E911: OK, can you put the dog away?

KOETHE: Um, no. No. Can, can I put you on with her right now?

E911: OK.

KOETHE: Hold on, hold on, hold on (inaudible).

E911: Maam. (Inaudible) do you have someone there? (Pause, inaudible). Do you have someone there?

(Inaudible)

POLICE: This is 45, I'm with her.

E911: OK, thank you.
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Southsider2k12
post Jan 2 2009, 11:35 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...ArticleID=20019

QUOTE
Evans sworn in as judge

Craig Davison
For The News-Dispatch

LA PORTE - Jennifer Evans was sworn in Wednesday as judge of Superior Court 3, the position she was elected to in November.

Evans, 34, a former deputy prosecutor, declined to comment after the ceremony about the Dec. 22 incident in which she was grazed in the head by a gunshot.

Evans did not appear to have any physical mark from the wound.

She said only that she is doing just fine and suffered no permanent injuries.

The investigation into the case was moved to the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office earlier this week, after La Porte County Prosecutor Rob Beckman decided to step aside.

In the 911 call made by Evans' husband, Stephan Koethe, he said the shooting was accidental, but neither Evans or Koethe, nor authorities, have revealed what led to the shooting or any of the details.

Last year, Evans prosecuted Kathy Phillips, who was acquitted of murder and neglect charges in the death of a newborn girl whose body was found in a field near her home. Evans also prosecuted Richard Dobeski, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for molesting a 7-year-old boy and for possession of child pornography. He had previously spent almost 40 years in prison for murdering two young children.

Evans has been a deputy prosecutor since graduating from Valparaiso University law school in 1999. She has also been the city attorney for Michigan City and has a private law practice dealing with non-criminal matters.

Her term as judge is six years.
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Southsider2k12
post Jan 8 2009, 08:16 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...ArticleID=20128

QUOTE
Evans mum on shooting as she takes the bench

Craig Davison
For The News-Dispatch

LA PORTE - Jennifer Evans took the bench Monday as the newly elected Superior Court 3 judge fewer than two weeks after being wounded by a gunshot in her home.

The 34-year-old former La Porte County deputy prosecutor suffered a head wound when she was grazed by a bullet in the Dec. 22 shooting. Her husband, who was in the home at the time of the shooting, said Evans was handling a gun she did not think was loaded when it discharged.

The incident is being investigated by St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak because of Evans' position in the La Porte County prosecutor's office at the time of the shooting.

Dvorak will decide whether charges should be pursued.

Evans, who was elected in November and presided over her first criminal case Monday, would not discuss the details of the shooting, but told local media she will cooperate with the investigation in any way she can.

"At this point, since a special prosecutor has been appointed, it would be inappropriate for me to comment right now because there is an open investigation," Evans said.

As a deputy prosecutor, Evans said she understood police have an obligation to conduct an investigation, and the prosecutor's office has an obligation to review the investigation.

"I'm confident that this will be resolved very quickly," Evans said.

Superior Court 3 handles traffic infractions, misdemeanors, small claims and civil cases.
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Southsider2k12
post Jan 28 2009, 01:36 PM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...ArticleID=20623

QUOTE
Evans, Koethe issued drinking rules

Laurie Wink
The News-Dispatch

LA PORTE - A judge has ordered Stephan Koethe and his wife, Superior Court 3 Judge Jennifer Evans, to remove all firearms from their residence and to refrain from consuming alcohol right before or during the times when Koethe's two children are in their care.

The ruling comes five weeks after a shooting incident in the Koethe-Evans home in La Porte in which Evans, then a deputy prosecutor, was grazed on the head.

Walter Chapala, special judge in La Porte Superior Court 2, signed the order Tuesday following a Jan. 14 hearing in La Porte Circuit Court. He also ordered all parties, including the children and the children's mother, Megan Koethe, to participate in an evaluation by Gary Durak, Valparaiso. After a report on the evaluations is submitted, Chapala will hold another hearing to determine whether the existing custody and parenting time schedule should be maintained, according to the court order.

Megan Koethe, Stephan's former wife, hired Valparaiso attorney John Terpstra to file a request for changes in the custody and parenting time of their children, Dominique, 9, and Sam, 8, following the Dec. 22 shooting at the La Porte residence of Koethe and Evans. La Porte city police responded to a call placed at 11:24 p.m. by Koethe, who told the E911 operator Evans had been injured by a gunshot to her head. Koethe confirmed in the call that two children were in the residence at the time of the shooting.

In a transcript of the 911 call, the operator asked Koethe where the weapon was and he said, "We don't know, right now it's, it's, it wasn't in here. It was our weapon."

He told the operator the gun was in the house and said they had a baby sitter so they put away "all the weapons." Koethe said they were putting them back out for self-protection when one of them fired. Koethe never said who fired the gun, or how many guns were in the house.

Evans was taken to La Porte Hospital and treated for a head wound caused by a shot that reportedly grazed the top of her head. She attended the Dec. 31 swearing in ceremony to become judge of Superior Court 3 exhibiting no sign of the wound.

Right after the shooting, La Porte police turned the case over to Evans' then-boss, La Porte County Prosecutor Rob Beckman, who waited about a week before turning it over to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office for investigation. Beckman said he wanted to avoid any appearance of impropriety because Evans was a deputy prosecutor in his office for about 10 years.

Following the Jan. 14 court hearing, Evans refused to comment on matters involving the children and chastised The News-Dispatch for printing their names and ages. She refused to comment about the shooting investigation as well. Stephan Koethe did not return phone calls.

Megan Koethe has filed a request in the La Porte County Prosecutor's Office to receive back custody payments from Stephan, who had been a Realtor with Century 21 Long Beach but no longer works there, said owner Doug Waters.

Megan Koethe filed for divorce in November 2002 and Chapala was appointed as special judge. The divorce was finalized in November 2003.

Contact Laurie Wink at lwink@thenewsdispatch.com.
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