‘I can’t remember a situation like this’
An Indiana councilman facing murder charges was sworn in from the wrong side of a jail cell.
Robert “Coop” Battle of East Chicago, Indiana, managed to get re-elected in November despite murder and federal drug charges. Paperwork required to take his oath of office was completed Jan. 15 and the ceremony was held afterward at Porter Council Jail. The board of elections received Battle’s paperwork last Friday.
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“It’s wrong for the taxpayers, wrong for our party. … I can’t remember a situation like this,” Lake County Sheriff Buncich told the Chicago Tribune on Monday.
Battle was pulled over for a traffic stop in September and charged with marijuana possession. Roughly $100,000 cash was also found inside his vehicle.
The councilman was then charged with the Oct. 12 shooting death of Reimundo Camarillo Jr., in East Chicago. Battle’s attorney claims Camarillo brandished a knife before the shooting, but police said a knife was not found at the crime scene.
“The right thing to do at this time would be to resign, step aside so the East Chicago citizens in the 3rd district can be represented properly,” Buncich said.
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Battle will continue to earn his $42,365 yearly salary from behind bars. His is scheduled to go to trial in August, the newspaper reported.