News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 16, 2013

Extra security around Vigo courthouse for next week’s trial

Defendant accused in Aug. 2012 shooting at city bar

Tribune-Star staff report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County Sheriff’s Department plans to tighten security at the courthouse next week for the murder trial of William H. Mallory in Superior Court Division 6.

Mallory, 22, of Indianapolis, is accused of shooting three people near the Ballyhoo Tavern in August 2012. Dustin Kelly of Terre Haute died as a result.

The trial will begin Monday.

“We’re being pro-active,” said Clark Cottom, chief deputy with the sheriff’s department. “We know there was some volatility at a prior court hearing.”

On Aug. 29 of last year, a brawl broke out between apparent supporters of the defendant and victim as they exited the courtroom. The heated exchange spilled out onto the parking lot and three individuals were arrested, according to a sheriff’s department news release.

As a preventive measure, the sheriff’s department has reallocated manpower and assigned additional deputies to strengthen security throughout the courthouse for the entire proceeding.

The added security includes, but is not limited to, a noticeable presence of uniformed officers in and around the courthouse; dual layers of metal detectors; 100 percent identification screening for those who enter the Div. 6 courtroom; and a requirement that all courthouse staff wear county-issued employee identification in a conspicuous location.

Additionally K9 units will perform random patrols throughout the building and grounds.

“Any person with an aggressive disposition will be immediately removed from the courthouse and adjoining campus,” Cottom said. Those causing a disturbance in violation of the law will be subject to arrest.

Visitors to the courthouse and county employees, should plan for greater security and expect slight delays entering the building. All are encouraged to leave unnecessary handbags, purses and brief cases in their vehicles.

The county already has an ordinance banning civilians from entering the courthouse with weapons of any type, including firearms, mace, pocket knives, scissors and sharp objects. The policy prohibiting such items will be strictly adhered to, according to the news release.

The Terre Haute Police Department will increase security around City Hall and the city-owned parking lot used by  government employees and visitors.

There will be no reduction in road patrol because of manpower at the trial, the sheriff’s department press release said, because the Indiana State Police will supplement road patrol units for the week.