Elkhart Truth subpoenaed to testify, give notes in felony murder case

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Elkhart Truth and 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel are both a part of the Federated Media family of companies.

A reporter for The Elkhart Truth was subpoenaed to testify and turn over interview notes and recordings regarding a case involving a felony murder suspect.

Emily Pfund, The Truth’s crime and courts reporter, received a subpoena from the chief deputy prosecutor in Elkhart County on Wednesday, April 8, according to The Elkhart Truth.

The subpoena orders Pfund to attend the next hearing in the case and to give chief deputy prosecuting attorney Vicki Becker “any and all written notes and/or memorabilia, and audio and/or video recordings … relating to any contacts with one Freddie Rhodes, or information that has come from Freddie Rhodes or is attributed to have come from Freddie Rhodes.”

The Elkhart Truth is fighting the subpoena.

Rhodes, 19, is a suspect in a felony murder investigation and was interviewed by Pfund for a story published by The Elkhart Truth in March. Rhodes claims that he does not remember much of a mirandized initial statement in the case because he was concussed before he was questioned.

The story Pfund wrote stemmed from a motion filed by Rhodes’ legal counsel to throw his statement out. The motion is a publicly available document.

“I’m just concerned about what effect this could have, not only for those who practice journalism within this community, but also across the state,” Ryan Martin, managing editor of The Elkhart Truth, said. “That chilling effect is something that a lot of people should be concerned about.”

Get more details on the subpoena and read more about Indiana’s shield law for journalists in the full story from The Elkhart Truth.