A Parke County man charged with murdering a Rosedale woman learned Thursday that he faces an Aug. 13 trial date in Parke Circuit Court.
Earl L. Edwards, 52, Rosedale, has been charged with murder, criminal confinement and theft in the death of Kathryn Bays, 55, whose body was found June 14 in the kitchen of the home the couple shared.
Edwards, wearing a bullet-proof vest over an orange inmate uniform, requested a public defender during the initial hearing in front of Judge Sam Swaim, who set no bail in the case. Edwards is now being held in the Parke County Jail.
Prosecutor Steve Cvengros filed an amended charge of felony murder, along with class-B felony criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon and class-D felony theft for allegedly stealing Bays’ credit card.
Edwards was originally charged with aggravated battery in Bays’ death. The original charging information stated that Edwards contacted Parke County police and stated he and Bays were involved in an altercation on the previous day, and that he had stabbed her with a knife after she allegedly stabbed him. Edwards stated that he knew Bays was dead when he left their home in the 2900 block of West Rose Hill Lane. Edwards turned himself in to police in Alpharetta, Ga.
Police who checked the home after Edwards’ phone call discovered Bays’ body lying in the home’s kitchen with a fabric wrapped around her head. There were bloody footprints on the floor around the woman, police report.
An autopsy conducted Monday identified the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.
Edwards was detained by Georgia authorities before being transported to Indiana on Wednesday.
The prosecutor has requested search warrants to obtain records of telephones used by Bays and Edwards, as he has also been granted a court order to collect blood, hair and saliva samples, full body photographs, and major case prints, which include fingers and palms.
A charge of murder carries a sentencing range of 45 to 65 years in prison. A class-B felony has a six- to 20-year sentencing range, while a class-D felony has a range of six months to three years in prison.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.