MUNCIE — A federal judge has granted a significant delay in the trial of three Muncie police officers indicted following an investigation into excessive force.
The trial for Chase Winkle, Jeremy Gibson and Joseph Krejsa was originally scheduled for February 2021, but has now been pushed back to September 13, 2021.
The judge found that the officers must have time to prepare for trial in light of COVID-19 concerns.
The court also took into account the safety of prospective jurors, counsel’s ability to travel, meet with witnesses in preparation for trial, and summon witnesses to testify at trial.
“The Court finds those interests outweigh the interests of the public and the defendants in a speedy trial in this case,” Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, wrote.
The trial is now scheduled for September 13, 2021 at the federal courthouse in downtown Indianapolis.
Winkle and Gibson are accused of using excessive force while making arrests in 2018 and 2019, while Krejsa is accused of writing false reports.
All three officers have pleaded not guilty.
The City of Muncie is facing numerous lawsuits related to excessive force allegations.