Plea A 'No Go': Trial In Shooting Of Deputy Marshal Gets Continued

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 5, 2012 Updated Oct 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM EDT

AUBURN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Answers in a court case surrounding the surprise shooting of a Waterloo deputy marshal will have to wait.

The woman linked to that crime is now looking at a trial delay of more than six months.

There was the thought that a plea agreement might get finalized at a Friday hearing for Julie King in the shooting of Waterloo Police Officer Steve Brady.

Instead, no deal emerged, and the case actually was pushed out into 2013.

Police say King and fellow suspect Ralph Hardiek got their car stuck in a ditch in the early morning hours of December 15th of 2011, and were walking through the streets of Waterloo when Officer Brady confronted them.

Court documents say, as he was talking to King, Hardiek shot Brady in the face.

Three hours later, following an intense manhunt, the pair was located hiding under a deck.

State police and other officers opened fire on the suspects, killing Hardiek and wounding King, claiming they did so after Hardiek pointed a gun at them.

King was tagged with three serious charges, including felony murder in connection with Hardiek's death at the hands of police.

We’re told the prosecutor and defense are hung up in plea negotiations, partly over the felony murder charge.

To have it stick, prosecutors must prove Hardiek’s death occurred in the commission of another felony crime.

Hardiek and King were linked to an armed robbery in Michigan, but it took place several hours earlier.

It’s not clear if that would meet the burden under the statute language.

" We thought we had a chance of getting this matter resolved (with a plea), but at this point, having not spoken to some of the folks from Michigan, we'd like to do that," said Dan Pappas, King’s defense lawyer.

11 days ago, there was discussion in open court about progress towards a plea.

We asked the state if that work is still in process.

" That's the nature of our business. There's always an offer, always an offer," said Dekalb County Prosecutor Clara Mary Winebrenner.

" Working in the criminal justice system for so many years, it works at the pace it works at, and I'll just take it as it goes," said Officer Brady.

He has endured multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy, hoping to get clearance to return to his patrol officer job in a few weeks.

The new trial date is May 6th of next year, but there’s the possibility discussions on a plea could produce fruit before the case ever gets to a jury.

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